Removing Barriers Blog

Introduced: Expanding Access to Lending Options Act
Posted March 16, 2021 by CUNA Advocacy
Senators Scott (R-SC) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) introduced a CUNA-supported bill -- the Expanding Access to Lending Options Act. If enacted, this legislation would raise federal credit union loan maturity limits on non-mortgage loans from 15 to 20 years. The bill comes after strong engagement with the legislators from CUNA, as well as the Carolinas Credit Union League and the Nevada Credit Union League.

“This bill by Senators Scott and Cortez-Masto will help create more opportunities for those seeking access to affordable credit options and grow their financial future,” said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. “America’s credit unions look forward to having more opportunities to partner with consumers to promote their financial well-being and advance their communities.”

CUNA strongly supports efforts to raise the current 15-year limit for non-mortgages, and has called on both NCUA and Congress to make such a change.

Federally chartered credit unions are prohibited by statute from making loans with maturity limits in excess of 15 years except for mortgage lending. Only one state (Oklahoma) has a similar restriction on state-chartered credit unions. No such constraint exists for banks.

“Senator Scott’s ongoing attention to the loan maturity limit in the Federal Credit Union Act proves his commitment to timely updates and flexibility for credit unions. Having served as a credit union volunteer, he understands that this and other unnecessary barriers inhibit the ability of credit unions to fully support members’ financial well-being," Carolinas Credit Union League President and CEO Dan Schline said. "We appreciate his leadership in reintroducing this legislation, particularly as consumers continue to recover from the pandemic’s economic impact."

“The credit unions in Nevada, as well as those nationally thank and appreciate the leadership of Senators Cortez Masto and Tim Scott for this bi-partisan bill. This legislation will allow the members of federal credit unions greater access to affordable lending products with reasonable lending terms,” Nevada Credit Union League Chairman Matt Kershaw said. “Providing increased maturity rates allows for lower payments and increases access and affordability to market, for all consumers. This is a simple parity piece allowing a level playing field between state and federally chartered credit unions.”