Streamlined CDFI-Certification Application: NCUA Can Help

Teamwork fists

Low-Income credit unions seeking the Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) certification can apply to use the National Credit Union Administration's (NCUA) streamlined qualification process beginning Sept. 12, 2021.

To qualify for the streamlined process, low-income-designated credit unions submit their Automated Integrated Regulatory Examination System (AIRES) loan origination data to the NCUA by email to and complete a participation questionnaire using the NCUA’s Cyber Grants Portal. NCUA will evaluate the data and then provide access to the CDFI Streamlined Application.

CDFI certification is determined by the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund), a division of the U.S. Treasury Department.  A CDFI-certified credit union becomes eligible to apply for multiple programs offered by the CDFI Fund, including direct funding through awards or grants. In June the CDFI awarded $1.25 billion in awards to CDFIs across the nation — with $20 million going to California-based CDFI credit unions.

NCUA’s program guide has instructions explaining the streamlined qualification process. The deadline for streamlined certification is Oct. 15. 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. However, NCUA can save these credit unions time in the process by providing many of the necessary data points.

Pin It