There are many benefits to low income designation for credit unions. A low income designation may be obtained from the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) if the majority (50.01%) of a credit union's members are low income as defined by the NCUA. NCUA Rules and Regulation 701.34 defines low income as family income 80% or less than the median family income for the metropolitan area in which members live or national metropolitan area, whichever is greater.
With low income designation credit unions can:
- Accept non-member deposits from any source
- Offer secondary capital accounts
- Receive exemption from the aggregate loan limit for member business loans (MBLs)
- Apply for grants and low-interest loans from NCUA
- Receive consulting services from NCUAs Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives (OSCUI)
- Access resources of other federal government agencies and non-profits with lower barriers