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Applying for Community Development Financial Institution Certification Becoming Easier

A new streamlined application process has made it easier for eligible Kansas and Missouri credit unions to apply for Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) certification. Currently, nearly 30 credit unions in Kansas and Missouri have CDFI certification. 

Representatives of NCUA’s Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives are contacting low-income credit unions that are not yet CDFI-certified but could be eligible for the streamlined application process. NCUA can do much of the required pre-qualification work, using existing AIRES data.

CDFI certification is determined by the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund, a division of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The program gives certified credit unions more tools to further local economic development. A CDFI-certified credit union becomes eligible to apply for multiple programs offered by the CDFI Fund, including direct funding through awards or grants.   

For CDFI credit unions, this could mean access to five-, six-, or even seven-figure grant awards that can be used to grow capabilities and further their mission to serve members and their community. CDFIs also can take advantage of technical assistance, training, and capacity-building initiatives to support their missions.

Last year, the CDFI Fund financed more than $200 million in grants and awards, with just over $31 million going to CDFI-certified credit unions. The more credit unions that become CDFI-certified and successfully apply for available funding, the more available CDFI Fund dollars can flow into credit unions and help them improve their members’ financial lives.

Working with NCUA assistance, interested and eligible credit unions will still be responsible for completing the few remaining data requirements and for directly submitting their applications to the CDFI Fund. 

Learn more about the new process and CDFI certification: