Senator Wyden Introduces Bill to Increase Credit Union Lending to Small Businesses

Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon.

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) introduced a bill last week that would provide regulatory relief and increase credit unions’ ability to lend to small businesses. By correcting a disparity in the way certain real estate loans are classified, the Credit Union Residential Loan Parity Act would allow credit unions to offer more capital to small businesses, supporting new jobs and economic growth.

“Small businesses generate jobs, and access to capital is the lifeline that keeps those businesses running and growing both in Oregon and nationwide,” Wyden said. “This bill would increase opportunities for small businesses to receive loans from credit unions, eliminating an unfair hurdle to that economic lifeline those businesses need.”

Under current law, loans made for one- to four-unit, non-owner occupied housing are treated as business loans when they are made by credit unions, but are treated as residential loans when made by banks and other financial institutions. As such, these types of loans count against a credit union’s member business lending cap and limit a credit union’s ability to provide loans to small businesses. 

By allowing credit unions to treat these types of loans as residential loans — as they are when they are made by other financial institutions — this bill lets credit unions offer more capital to small businesses as they create jobs and drive growth in our communities.

“Senator Wyden’s bill would be a huge relief to our members who very much want to provide capital for small business,” said Troy Stang, Chief Executive Officer of the Northwest Credit Union Association. “We strongly support this legislation and will work side-by-side with Senator Wyden to pass this essential measure.”

 Similar legislation has been introduced in the House by Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.).

Questions about this story? Contact James Pearson: 206.340.4790,

Posted in Advocacy News.