An executive with the Center for Responsible Lending applauded the NCUA’s most recent guidance to federal credit unions on payday lending, but said he expected implementing it to take time.

Uriah King, a senior policy associate for the organization, which is an affiliate of the $347 million Self Help Credit Union, praised the payday lending letter as “a strong document” but said the CRL was waiting to see how the agency implemented the letter.

“I think the letter lays out very clearly what criteria NCUA expects credit union short-term loan programs to meet, and it will be up to the examiners to make sure that federal credit union programs meet those criteria,” King said. He added that the CRL expected short-term loan programs not meeting those criteria to change and for the agency to enforce them.

“What we have now is a lot of splitting hairs about whether some programs meet the letter and the spirit of the 18% rate cap,” King said.