What is Community Development Financial Institutions certification?
The U. S. Treasury Department’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund designates organizations that provide financial services to low-income communities and to people who lack access to financing and that meet certain criteria as Community Development Financial Institutions.
Credit unions certified as CDFIs are eligible to apply for awards through a variety of competitive programs administered by the CDFI Fund. These awards enable CDFIs to finance a wide range of activities, including:
- Mortgage lending for first-time homebuyers,
- Flexible underwriting for community facilities, and
- Commercial loans for businesses in low-income areas.
The CDFI Fund’s website (opens new window) has more information about the agency, CDFI designation, and its various programs.
How would CDFI certification benefit my credit union?
If your credit union is certified as a CDFI, it can:
- Apply for funding through the CDFI Fund’s competitive CDFI Program and Native American CDFI Assistance Program, if applicable;
- Training and Technical Assistance opportunities sponsored by the CDFI Fund; and
- Funding from funders other than the CDFI Fund.
How do I apply?
Use the guidance and application available on the CDFI Fund website (opens new window).
How can I find more information?
- CDFI Fund Certification Video (opens new window): Guidance for credit unions using the standard application.
- Low-Income Designation Fact Sheet (opens new window): An overview of NCUA’s low-income designation process for credit unions.
- A Tale of Three Credit Unions (opens new window): Three credit unions explain their reasons for seeking to become CDFIs.