Five low-income credit unions from the Cornerstone Credit Union League region will be able to expand services, offer new loan products and provide educational opportunities to members as a result of grants awarded by the National Credit Union Administration. A total of 126 low-income credit unions received nearly $182,000 in funding through the 2013 Community Development Revolving Loan Fund grant round.
FirstLight FCU (El Paso, TX) received at $9,760 grant; Hurricane Creek FCU (Benton, Ark.) received $5,800; Kingsville Community FCU (Kingsville, TX) received $3,000; SAFE CU (Beaumont, TX) received $1,090, and Tri-County FCU (Shawnee, OKla.) received $1,545.
Sarah Hendrix, compliance officer with Hurricane Creek FCU says the grant will allow the credit union to make mobile banking available to its members.
“We’ve had a great deal of demand from our membership to offer mobile banking, particularly from our younger members,” she said. “In fact, we’ve actually lost business by not having mobile banking.”
Hendrix says the $26 million in assets credit union expects to make mobile banking available to its nearly 4,000 members by the first of the year. The mobile app will mimic the credit union’s online banking, and through their mobile app, members will be able to view accounts, transfer funds between accounts, and access bill pay.
“Low-income credit unions play an essential role in their communities and supporting their work is a priority for NCUA,” said NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz. “The credit unions that receive these grants will be extending outreach, growing membership and improving income.”
This year, 231 credit unions submitted grant applications to NCUA with more than $2,718,965 in funding requests. NCUA awarded 142 grants. Low-income credit unions will use this year’s awards for a variety of purposes, including setting up electronic banking systems and mobile banking platforms, offering reloadable debit cards and lower-cost alternatives to payday loans, and providing financial literacy for consumers and online training for staff.