11 credit unions among the first to receive CDFI certifications in 2023

CU Strategic Planning client CUs change lives with affordable lending, financial counseling and more!

TACOMA, WA (April 27, 2023) — While the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund is still in its pause period and hasn’t accepted any new applicants for CDFI certification since October of 2022, financial institutions are starting to see more communication. Eleven CU Strategic Planning clients that have been waiting since before that pause received their CDFI certification approvals in the past few weeks, some of the first to be approved this year.

The credit unions that received their approvals include Muskogee FCU, TrueCore FCU, SMW 104 FCU, Pacific Crest FCU, Baton Rouge Telco FCU, Palmetto Citizens FCU, Orlando CU, Rogue CU, Hopewell FCU, Campus FCU and North Bay CU. Certified CDFI credit unions have a proven track record of serving low-income communities and people who lack access to financing.

“We at TrueCore are thrilled to begin our journey as a CDFI-certified credit union,” TrueCore FCU President-CEO Jason Hall said. “Now that we have received our certification, we are looking forward to applying for financial awards that will allow us to meet the needs of low-income individuals in our local underserved communities. The guidance and expertise that CU Strategic Planning provided during the application process was invaluable to us at TrueCore. As a CDFI, we look forward to being able to place an even bigger emphasis on putting the community first and valuing local, economic growth.”

CDFIs are eligible to receive financial awards from the CDFI Fund for a variety of projects surrounding financial inclusion, women’s empowerment, household stabilization, affordable housing and rehab, and more to support economically depressed and minority communities.

For example, the $102.3 million Muskogee FCU is hoping to use its certification for financial assistance from the CDFI Fund to serve more underserved areas, particularly the burgeoning Hispanic population in its part of Oklahoma. The credit union already began offering ITIN loans and has made three so far in 2023, but CEO Dana Brown is hopeful a CDFI award will help the credit union to make 800 more loans over the next three years, split between 150 affordable loans to compete with buy-here, pay-here car dealerships and 650 small dollar and debt
consolidation loans.

“If you’ve ever thought about it, try applying for CDFI certification,” Brown advised. “It’s been a lot of hard work, but it’s been great working with CU Strategic Planning.”

CU Strategic Planning is the leading CDFI credit union consultancy, earning its CDFI credit union clients $945 million since the firm’s founding in 2008 and succeeding at its mission to unlock opportunities for credit unions to change lives and their communities. Supporting credit unions seeking to serve banking deserts, historically underserved populations and other targeted populations, CU Strategic Planning offers a variety of products and services, including CDFI certifications, grant writing, and compliance; HERO financial counselor training; strategic
planning; and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Belonging & Accessibility training and certification.

About CU Strategic Planning

Since 2008, CU Strategic Planning has provided business planning services for credit unions, focusing on community development. The company is the No. 1 CDFI certification, grant-writing and compliance firm for credit unions in the country. Through grants, strategic and tactical planning, community summit facilitation and more, CU Strategic Planning achieves its mission to unlock opportunities for credit unions to change lives and their communities. CU Strategic Planning’s expert consulting includes securing and managing compliance for $945 million in US Treasury CDFI grants and related award funding.  


Sarah Snell Cooke



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