The National Credit Union Administration has announced that it will begin accepting applications for its first round in 2014 for technical assistance grants beginning Feb. 3.
Low-income designated credit unions can individually receive up to $16,500 in funding for three grant categories:
· A new Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) certification;
· New products; and
· Student internships.
“These grants will help America’s low-income credit unions remain viable and respond to the evolving needs of their members,” NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz said. “The funding to assist low-income credit unions in qualifying for a CDFI certification is a welcome addition to NCUA’s long-standing grant program. CDFI-certified financial institutions have access to additional capital, which can help them create jobs and promote financial stability in some of our nation’s most underserved communities. I encourage all eligible credit unions to apply.”
NCUA will provide $481,000 in total funding during the first 2014 grant round. The application period runs Feb. 3 through March 14, 2014. Credit unions may apply online here.
New for 2014, NCUA will provide $2,500 each to as many as 40 credit unions seeking a CDFI certification. Certified CDFIs may apply for funding from the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund. The CDFI Fund provides funding for financial institutions serving low-income people and communities that lack adequate access to affordable financial products and services.
Credit unions have historically represented the second largest category of CDFIs, even though only 10 percent of the nearly 2,000 low-income credit unions designated by NCUA are CDFI certified. The CDFI Fund awarded $184 million to CDFIs in 2013.
For the new product grant category, credit unions may apply for first-year funding for one of the following nine products:
|New Product||Maximum Grant Amount|
|· First ATM
· Online banking
|· Mobile banking
· Online loan or membership applications
|· Electronic or digital signatures
· Remote deposit capture
|· Electronic bill pay
· Debit, prepaid or credit cards
|· First website||$2,000|
Interested credit unions can use a single application to apply for multiple new product grants. Credit unions are not required to submit estimates and contracts with their applications.
Finally, NCUA will award up to $4,000 to each eligible credit union to hire student interns for the summer of 2014. These internships must be completed by Aug. 31, 2014. Eligible credit unions will be selected by asset size, smallest credit unions first. Credit unions that received student internship funding in 2013 are not eligible for student internship grants in 2014.
Funding for NCUA’s grant initiatives is provided by the Community Development Revolving Loan Fund, a fund created by Congress to support credit unions that serve low-income communities. NCUA’s Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives administers the program.
NCUA’s Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives fosters credit union development and the effective delivery of financial services for small credit unions, new credit unions and credit unions with a low-income designation. For additional information on NCUA’s grants for low-income credit unions visit the Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives’ microsite here or subscribe to the office’s monthly e-newsletter FOCUS.
NCUA is the independent federal agency created by the U.S. Congress to regulate, charter and supervise federal credit unions. With the backing of the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government, NCUA operates and manages the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, insuring the deposits of more than 95 million account holders in all federal credit unions and the overwhelming majority of state-chartered credit unions.