Astera Credit Union awarded $1.5 million Rapid Response Program grant funds

LANSING, MI (July 9, 2021) — On June 15, 2021, the U.S. Department of the Treasury awarded $1.25 billion in COVID-19 relief funds to 863 community development financial institutions (CDFIs). The awards were announced by Vice President Kamala Harris at the White House with Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen. The grants will be made through Treasury’s CDFI Rapid Response Program (CDFI RRP) and will provide necessary capital for CDFIs to respond to economic challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in underserved communities.

Martin Carter, President/CEO stated, “As a newly certified CDFI credit union, we are very excited about the opportunity the RRP grant award will provide Astera Credit Union. At a strategic level we are committed to improving the financial well-being of both consumers and businesses in the low-income communities we serve.  This grant award will help Astera create a larger infrastructure to support and significantly expand our lending to a much broader group of financially challenged lower-income members and potential members.”

The CDFI RRP grant funds will be used to support eligible activities such as financial products, financial services, development services, and certain operational activities, and to enable CDFIs to build capital reserves and loan-loss reserves. The CDFI Fund designed the program to disburse the funds rapidly in light of the nationwide economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The CDFI RRP was authorized by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (Pub. L. 116-260).

About Astera Credit Union

Astera CU is a local, community-chartered credit union that has been serving the Lansing area for over 70 years. Astera, a cooperative financial institution owned by its members, has a member-centric business focus allowing them to provide the Lansing, DeWitt and Ionia communities with top-notch personal account and business account financial products and services including: several loan types, savings accounts, electronic services that include mobile banking, mobile check deposit and more, along with access to knowledgeable staff to help members optimize their money. For more information visit Astera online at

About the CDFI Fund

Since its creation in 1994, the CDFI Fund has awarded more than $3.9 billion to CDFIs, community development organizations, and financial institutions through the Bank Enterprise Award Program, the Capital Magnet Fund, the Community Development Financial Institutions Program, the Financial Education and Counseling Pilot Program, and the Native American CDFI Assistance Program. In addition, the CDFI Fund has allocated $61 billion in tax credit allocation authority to Community Development Entities through the New Markets Tax Credit Program and closed guaranteed bonds for over $1.7 billion through the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program.


Jessica Richardson-Isenegger

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