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First CDFI Certification Round Now Open

February 2017
First CDFI Certification Round Now Open

NCUA’s Streamlined Application Process Aims to Certify More Credit Unions

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Feb. 13, 2017) – Federally insured low-income credit unions can now apply for certification as community development financial institutions through the streamlined application process developed by the National Credit Union Administration and the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund.

“Through CDFI certification, low-income credit unions can better serve their communities,” NCUA Board Acting Chairman J. Mark McWatters said. “NCUA encourages low-income credit unions to explore the expedited application process. With access to CDFI funding and resources, credit unions can extend their reach and expand access to affordable financial services.”

In the streamlined application process, low-income credit unions submit data on loan originations and their target markets to NCUA’s Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives. NCUA will then analyze each credit union’s products and services and other indicators to determine its likelihood for certification. If the credit union is qualified to use the streamlined process, NCUA will provide an application form and the data necessary to complete it. The credit union then completes the application and sends it to the CDFI Fund for final determination.

NCUA will host three streamlined CDFI-certification application rounds in 2017, the first beginning today and running through March 17. The second round runs from May 1 through May 26, and the third round runs from Aug. 7 through Sept. 1.

Working with the CDFI Fund, a program of the U.S. Treasury Department, NCUA conducted a pilot program in 2016 to test the streamlined application process. As a result, five credit unions were recently awarded CDFI certification. NCUA’s full-scale program began this past December. An online CDFI Streamlined Application Program Guide provides more information.

Low-income credit unions that do not qualify for the streamlined program may still obtain a CDFI certification through the CDFI Fund’s standard application available here.

NCUA’s Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives fosters credit union development and the effective delivery of financial services for small credit unions, new credit unions, minority depository institutions and credit unions with a low-income designation.

Board Member J. Mark McWatters
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