The National Credit Union Administration announced on Thursday that, beginning in February, it will provide $481,000 in grants to community institutions for new products, student internships and a new Community Development Financial Institution certification.
Credit unions designated as low-income can receive up to $16,500 in funding for the three grant categories. The application period runs from Feb. 3 through Feb. 14.
“These grants will help America’s low-income credit unions remain viable and respond to the evolving needs of their members,” NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz said. “The funding to assist low-income credit unions in qualifying for a CDFI certification is a welcome addition to NCUA’s long-standing grant program. CDFI-certified financial institutions have access to additional capital, which can help them create jobs and promote financial stability in some of our nation’s most underserved communities. I encourage all eligible credit unions to apply.”
Beginning in 2014, the NCUA will provide $2,500 each to up to 40 credit unions seeking a CDFI certification, which allows the institutions to apply for funding from the U.S. Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund.
Credit unions have, historically, represented the second largest group of CDFIs, though only 10 percent of designated low-income credit unions are CDFI-certified. This year, the CDFI Fund awarded $184 million.
For new products, maximum grant amounts include $10,000 for the first ATM or online banking; $7,500 for mobile banking or online loan/membership applications; $6,000 for electronic or digital signatures or remote deposit capture; $5,000 for electronic bill pay or debit/prepaid/credit cards; and $2,000 for the first website.
Up to $4,000 will be awarded to each eligible institution to hire student interns for summer 2014. Eligible institutions will be selected by asset size, with smallest credit unions first.