The U.S. Treasury Department has recognized the 19,000-member, $157 million JetStream Federal Credit Union as a Community Development Financial Institution.
The recognition makes the Miami Lakes, Fla., credit union eligible to apply for funds from the department's CDFI Fund.
The CDFI Fund supports credit union and other CDFI efforts to serve lower income and underbanked communities by providing grants and other funds.
“Our goal is simple: Improve our members’ overall financial knowledge, options and condition,” said JetStream FCU President/CEO Jeanne Kucey.
“The CDFI certification enables us to better serve our existing membership, the non-banked in our local communities, while also strengthening JetStream’s bottom line ensuring our continued viability as a financial partner,” she said.
According to Kucey, who is also on the NAFCU Board of Directors, one area the credit union is now planning to expand this year is a “Wheels to Work” program.
JetStream said it has many members with impressive length of employment records that it is unable to lend to due to their extremely challenged credit history. Grant opportunities available through the CDFI certification process will enable the credit union to expand this type of lending by reducing its loss exposure.
JetStream used the consulting firm of CU Strategic Planning from Tacoma, Wash., in the CDFI application process.
“We are so pleased to see JetStream awarded its well-deserved CDFI certification,” said CU Strategic Planning founder Jamie Chase. “With a majority of its membership classified as low-income, this certification is a significant step for them to have the resources available that will fully serve their membership with the products and services their members truly need to better manage their financial lives,” Chase said.