WASHINGTON (11/27/13)--Noting that credit unions "remain underrepresented among the ranks of certified community development financial institutions (CDFI)," the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions said it will work with state credit union leagues and others to increase credit union participation in the program.
"Though most of the 2,000 low-income credit unions in the U.S. are eligible, only 10% have obtained CDFI certification," the federation said. "Many eligible credit unions are discouraged by the application process, others by the historically low percentage of grants given to credit unions," the federation added.
The U.S. Treasury's CDFI Fund helps locally based financial institutions--including credit unions--offer small business, consumer and home loans in communities and populations that lack access to affordable credit. Credit unions that are certified to take part in the CDFI program may apply for as much as $2 million in funding to help maintain their credit union's presence in the community.
Credit unions made 73 requests for a total of around $77 million in funds for the 2013 fiscal year. More than $21 million in CDFI Fund awards and grants were released to 35 low-income credit unions. Overall, 191 organizations were awarded a total of more than $172 million when fiscal 2013 CDFI Fund awards were announced in late September.
Serving low- and minimum-income consumers and financially underserved communities "is the place where mission and opportunity come together for credit unions," the federation said. "CDFI certification is the gateway to attracting local recognition as a community leader as well as to accessing additional public and private sector funds, the federation added.
For the full federation release, use the resource link.