12 CFR § 701.34 - Designation of low income status.

§ 701.34 Designation of low income status.

(a) Designation of low-income status.

(1) Based on data obtained through examinations, NCUA will notify a federal credit union that it qualifies for designation as a low-income credit union if a majority of its membership qualifies as low-income members. A federal credit union that wishes to receive the designation must notify NCUA in writing within 90 days of receipt of any NCUA notifications.

(2) Low-income members are those members whose family income is 80% or less than the median family income for the metropolitan area where they live or national metropolitan area, whichever is greater, or those members who earn 80% or less than the total median earnings for individuals for the metropolitan area where they live or national metropolitan area, whichever is greater. NCUA will use the statewide or national, non-metropolitan area median family income instead of the metropolitan area or national metropolitan area median family income for members living outside a metropolitan area. Member earnings will be estimated based on data reported by the U.S. Census Bureau for the geographic area where the member lives. The term “low-income members” also includes those members enrolled as students in a college, university, high school, or vocational school.

(3) Federal credit unions that do not receive notification that they qualify for a low-income credit union designation but believe they qualify may submit information to NCUA to demonstrate they qualify for a low-income credit union designation. For example, federal credit unions may provide actual member income from loan applications or surveys to demonstrate a majority of their membership is low-income members. Actual member income data must be compared to a like category of statistical data, for example, actual individual member income may only be compared to total median earnings for individuals for the metropolitan area where they live or national metropolitan area, whichever is greater. A Federal credit union may rely on a sample of membership income data drawn from loan files or a member survey provided the Federal credit union can demonstrate the sample is a statistically valid, random sample by submitting with its data a narrative describing its sampling technique and evidence supporting the validity of the analysis, including the actual data set used in the analysis. The random sample must be representative of the membership, must be sufficient in both number and scope on which to base conclusions, and must have a minimum confidence level of 95% and a confidence interval of 5%. A Federal credit union must draw the sample either entirely from loan files or entirely from the survey, and must not combine a loan file review with a survey. NCUA will provide a response to the Federal credit union within 60 days of its submission.

(4) If NCUA determines a low-income designated Federal credit union no longer meets the criteria for the designation, NCUA will notify the Federal credit union in writing, and the Federal credit union must, within five years, meet the criteria for the designation or come into compliance with the regulatory requirements applicable to Federal credit unions that do not have a low-income designation. The designation will remain in effect during the five-year period. If a Federal credit union does not requalify and has secondary capital or nonmember deposit accounts with a maturity beyond the five-year period, NCUA may extend the time for a Federal credit union to come into compliance with regulatory requirements to allow the Federal credit union to satisfy the terms of any account agreements. A Federal credit union may request NCUA to reconsider a determination that it no longer meets the criteria for the designation and/or file an appeal with the NCUA Board in accordance with the procedures set forth in subpart B to part 746 of this chapter.

(5) Any credit union with a low-income credit union designation on January 1, 2009 will have five years from that date to meet the criteria for low-income designation under paragraph (a)(1) of this section, unless NCUA determines a longer time is required to allow the low-income credit union to satisfy the terms of a secondary capital or nonmember deposit account agreement.

(6) Definitions. The following definitions apply to this section:

Median family income and total median earnings for individuals are income statistics reported by the U.S. Census Bureau. The applicable income data can be obtained via the American Community Survey on the Census Bureau's web page at http://www.census.gov.

Metropolitan area means an area designated by the Office of Management and Budget pursuant to 31 U.S.C. 1104(d), 44 U.S.C. 3504(c), and Executive Order 10253 (June 13, 1951) (as amended).

(b) [Reserved]

[61 FR 3790, Feb. 2, 1996, as amended at 61 FR 50695, 50697, Sept. 27, 1996; 64 FR 72270, Dec. 27, 1999; 65 FR 21131, Apr. 20, 2000; 71 FR 4238, Jan. 26, 2006; 73 FR 71912, Nov. 26, 2008; 75 FR 7342, Feb. 19, 2010; 75 FR 47172, Aug. 5, 2010; 75 FR 57843, Sept. 23, 2010; 76 FR 36979, June 24, 2011; 76 FR 80227, Dec. 23, 2011; 78 FR 4032, Jan. 18, 2013; 82 FR 50291, Oct. 30, 2017; 85 FR 62210, Oct. 2, 2020; 86 FR 11072, Feb. 23, 2021]

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