The National Credit Union Administration announced that it has granted a federal charter and Share Insurance Fund coverage to Community HOPE Federal Credit Union in Lincoln, Neb.

The agency said that Community HOPE will be able to serve about 40,000 residents in downtown Lincoln.

In addition, the new credit union will provide residents in the local community with “access to affordable financial services.”

During its first year of operation, Community HOPE plans to offer: regular shares; share drafts; short-term unsecured loan; share-secured loans; auto loans; money orders; cashier checks; and wire transfers. The credit union also plans to offer financial literacy training programs.

Furthermore, NCUA granted Community HOPE a low-income designation, making it eligible for certain benefits, including NCUA grants and low-interest loans as well as an exemption from the member-business lending loan limit, in order to “help it better serve low-income members in its community.”

According to its website, Community HOPE said it expects to “reduce the influence of predatory payday loans and its devastating impact on families’ health and financial well-being” in Lincoln.

John Fairbanks, ‎public relations specialist at NCUA, told Credit Union Journal that this marks the first completely new (or, de novo) charter for 2017. “We did grant Firefighters First [Credit Union] a federal charter back in April, but that was a conversion,“ he added.

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