NCUA grants to allow low-income CUs to expand services, product offerings

resized_NCUA_SEALThe National Credit Union Administration said on Wednesday that the grants it provides will help more low-income credit unions expand services, provide members with educational opportunities and offer new loan products.

One hundred twenty-six low-income credit unions are set to receive $871,597 in funding through the 2013 Community Development Revolving Loan Fund grant round.

“We’re supporting the kind of innovation that has a direct and positive result on people’s lives,” William Myers, the director of the Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives, said. “We’re especially proud of their efforts in collaboration and extending digital services.”

Low-income credit unions are often the only financial institution available to their members, and grants from the NCUA help the institutions to expand their scope of services and provide capital to local communities.

“Low-income credit unions play an essential role in their communities and supporting their work is a priority for NCUA,” NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz said. “The credit unions that receive these grants will be extending outreach, growing membership and improving income.”

Institutions set to receive this year’s grants will use the funds for a variety of purposes, including establishing electronic banking systems and mobile banking, providing financial literacy to consumers and online training for staff and offering reloadable debit cards and lower-cost alternatives to payday loans.

Over 200 credit unions submitted grant applications this year, with nearly $2.72 million in funding requests.

Congress established the fund to provide grants and loans to credit unions in low-income communities. Since the program began in 2001, Congress has appropriated $10.4 million for the fund’s grants.

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