The NCUA will make $481,000 in technical assistance grants available designated low-income credit unions.
Each LICU will be able to receive up to $16,500 total, which can serve needs in three categories: achieving certification as a Community Development Financial Institution, purchasing certain new products, and hiring summer interns.
The U.S. Treasury Department's Community Development Financial Institutions Fund certifies financial institutions as CDFIs. CDFI recognition makes the credit union eligible for grants from the CDFI Fund.
“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,” Matz said in the agency announcement.
The National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions has applauded the agency's inclusion of CDFI certification in the grant program.
The new products eligible for funding include a first ATM; a mobile banking app, an online loan application app; technology for electronic or digital signatures; technology for remote deposit capture; technology for electronic bill pay; issuing debit, prepaid or credit cards, or launching the credit union's first website.
The student interns funded by the grants should be hired in the summer of 2014, the agency said.
Applications for the grants can be made online at the agency between Feb. 3 and Feb. 14, 2014.