December 05, 2013

Application period opens Feb. 3 for NCUA grants

NCUA is accepting applications for its first 2014 round of technical assistance grants beginning Feb. 3, the agency announced.

The agency said low-income designated credit unions can individually receive up to $16,500 in funding for three grant categories:

  • a new community development financial institution certification;
  • new products; and
  • student internships.

NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz noted the CDFI certification grant is a new offering. "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," she said. "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 Feb. 14, 2014. Credit unions may apply online here.

NCUA loans and grants to low-income designated credit unions are provided through the Community Development Revolving Loan Fund; the program is run by the Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives.

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.

NCUA notes 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.