January 13, 2021

Streamlined CDFI applications set to open soon

NCUAThe NCUA will open its streamlined qualification process for federally-insured, low-income credit unions seeking to become certified as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Jan. 24. Credit unions that are CDFI certified are able to take advantage of training and award programs provided through the Treasury Department's CDFI Fund, which provides resources to help credit unions provide financial services in underserved communities.

The recent Phase 4 coronavirus relief and fiscal year 2021 omnibus federal government funding measure authorized NAFCU-sought additional emergency funding for CDFIs that predominantly serve minority communities. The legislation set aside roughly $1 billion of the emergency CDFI funds for financial institutions with less than $2 billion in assets.

To qualify, low-income-designated credit unions submit data on their loan originations to the NCUA by email to and complete an online Participation Form. The Office of Credit Union Resources and Expansion then analyzes each credit union’s products, services, and other indicators to determine whether it qualifies to use the streamlined certification application.

Applications through the streamlined process will be accepted through April 3.

Additional information on CDFI certification and how to apply is available here, and the NCUA also has a program guide available.