Obama Backs Low-Income CU Move
NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz attended an Aug. 7 meeting in the White House’s Roosevelt Room in which President Barack Obama announced that low-income designated credit union lending would be included in the administration’s latest drought-relief package.
The initiative, which includes a fast-track approval process for 1,003 federal credit unions that qualify but haven’t applied for low-income status, could unlock between $250 million and $500 million in new, near-term business lending, the NCUA said. Additionally, the NCUA said the measure has the potential to double the current number of low-income credit unions and increase their member business lending by nearly 75%.
“We help [members] develop a plan, and use financial counselors that work with our members, and technical assistance partners that will sit down with them and help them think through their challenges. ... We make sure we have the tools in place to support our members,” he said.
While credit unions nationwide bemoan a lack of new loans, Hope reported 6.41% year-to-date loan growth as of June 30. About 40% of the credit union’s loan portfolio is made up of business loans, with Hope generating between $30 million and $45 million in small business loans each year. Borrowers run the gamut, from rural hospitals and community health clinics to manufacturers and retailers, Bynum said.