Northwest Credit Unions Awarded $80,000 in NCUA Grants
The Community Development Revolving Loan Fund allows low-income designated credit unions to better serve members.
Seventeen Northwest credit unions have received $80,000 in grants from the National Credit Union Administration to help reach underserved communities, improve digital services and security, and train employees. In total, 155 low-income designated credit unions nationwide were awarded $1.9 million.
The Community Development Revolving Loan Fund grants go to credit unions serving low-income communities. Since 2001, Congress has provided the NCUA with $22.8 million for the grants.
St. Joe Valley Credit Union, located in St. Maries, Idaho, received $8,000 to fund digital services and security. The credit union serves just over 1,000 members in northwestern Idaho. It plans to use the funds to update its website, adding mobile capabilities and making it more user friendly, said President and CEO Gloria Rauch.
“I would tell other credit unions to give it a try, get the groundwork done early so that you are ready when the application becomes available, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. The Association was super helpful,” Rauch said. “John Trull encouraged me and helped walk me through a few of the steps over the phone. I might have missed a few of those details without his help.”
Credit unions can receive assistance in applying for grants through their Northwest Credit Union Association. John Trull, VP of Regulatory Advocacy, is an expert at helping credit unions navigate the process.
Other Northwest credit unions that received grants include:
- Gateway, $5,000 for counselor certification
- Point West, $4,500 for counselor certification
- Pacific Crest Federal, $2,400 for counselor certification
- IBEW & United Workers Federal, $8,000 for digital services and security
- Consolidated Community, $8,000 for digital services and security
- Wauna, $8,000 for digital services and security
- South Coast I.L.W.U. Federal, $5,000 for training
- Cutting Edge, $5,000 for training
- Trailhead, $5,000 for training
- Mint Valley Federal, $5,000 for counselor certification
- Peninsula, $5,000 for counselor certification
- Lighthouse Community, $6,600 for digital services and security
- Community Healthcare Federal, $4,500 for digital services and security
- Mt. Rainier Federal, $8,000 for digital services and security
- PrimeSource, $5,000 for training
- Global, $5,000 for training
The Counselor Certification is new for 2019 and has a maximum grant amount of $5,000. It was designed to help credit union staff obtain a certificate in financial and housing counseling with the purpose of using that knowledge to build partnerships that expand the credit union’s service to members.
“Credit unions in the Northwest have done a fantastic job of leveraging the Community Development Revolving Loan Fund to serve their membership,” Trull said. “The CDRLF loan fund has helped underserved credit union members achieve their dream of owning a home, starting a business, or purchasing a car.
The CDRLF is funded through a congressional appropriation. In addition to grants, low–income designated credit unions can access low–cost term deposits, and support when something such as a natural disaster occurs.