ALEXANDRIA, Va. (8/16/12)--A combined $1.4 million in technical assistance grants will be disbursed to help more than 100 small credit unions improve their service, train their staff, and expand their community outreach efforts, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) said on Wednesday.
Grants of up to $25,000 are provided to these credit unions through the agency's Community Development Revolving Loan Fund (CDRLF). The agency received 331 grant applications in 2012, with credit unions requesting more than $5 million, combined, in funding. This is the largest total requested since the CDRLF was established.
NCUA Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives (OSCUI) Director William Myers said the agency "made a concerted effort this year to make it easier to apply for these grants" and saw a 77% increase in applications as a result. The 2012 CDRLF funding round was the first to use the NCUA's new automated online application process.
The increase in grant applications "shows the depth of commitment these credit unions have to their members and communities," Myers added.
Just over $1 million of the total funds awarded will go to new product and service development. The agency in a release added that credit unions intend to use the funds to provide ATMs in underserved areas, increase some marketing efforts at in-school branches and increase awareness of the payday loan alternatives offered at their credit union.
Financial literacy and education at in-school credit union branches, and internships and staff training efforts, also will be funded by the grant money.
"NCUA works hard to support America's small credit unions, and these grants are one way of giving them the essential tools they need to do their work," NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz said.