The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) opened the fiscal year (FY) 2024 funding round for the Small Dollar Loan Program (SDL Program) today. SDL Program funding is intended to expand consumer access to financial institutions by providing alternatives to high-cost small dollar lending. The SDL Program funding is also intended to help unbanked and underbanked populations build credit, access affordable capital, and allow greater access into the mainstream financial system. For this program, small dollar loans cannot exceed $2,500 and must be unsecured. The CDFI Fund is posting the Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) on its website in anticipation of its publication in the Federal Register on October 25, 2023.
Through the SDL Program, the CDFI Fund provides:
- Grants for Loan Loss Reserves (LLR): The awards enable a Certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) to establish a loan loss reserve fund to cover the losses on small dollar loans associated with establishing or expanding a small dollar loan program.
- Grants for Technical Assistance (TA): The awards support technology, staff support, and other eligible activities to enable a Certified CDFI to establish or expand a small dollar loan program.
Up to $18 million in awards is available through the FY 2024 round of the program. This round of the SDL Program will consist of funding provided under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 (Pub. L. 117-328), as well as forthcoming FY 2024 appropriations. The final amount of funding available in this round will be determined after the FY 2024 appropriations for the CDFI Fund have been enacted.
Certified CDFIs may apply for SDL Program awards individually; through a partnership between a Certified CDFI and any Federally Insured Depository Institution (FIDI) with a primary mission to serve targeted Investment Areas (for LLR only); or through a partnership between two or more Certified CDFIs (for TA only). SDL Program awards may not be used to provide direct loans to consumers.
Please review the NOFA to learn more about the SDL Program. Additional details on how to apply to the program are available below.
Reference copies of the SDL Program NOFA and all application materials can be found on the SDL Program page on the CDFI Fund’s website.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to closely review all application materials, including the NOFA, application guidance, webinars, and presentations.
Required Application Systems
All applicants must be registered and have active accounts in SAM.gov, Grants.gov, and the CDFI Fund’s Awards Management Information System (AMIS) to apply for funding by November 20, 2023 or their application will be considered ineligible. All applicants are also required to have the correct Employer Identification Number (EIN) and Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) attached to the relevant SAM.gov and AMIS accounts by November 20, 2023. To avoid potential application problems, all organizations should either create a new account, if one does not exist, or confirm that the existing account is up to date. Applicants are encouraged to create/update their accounts as soon as possible.
New Title VI Worksheet Requirement!
All Applicants must be compliant with federal civil rights requirements in order to be eligible to receive federal financial assistance awards from the CDFI Fund. New for this round of the program, the CDFI Fund is now requiring all award applicants complete a Title VI Compliance Worksheet once annually with their applications. This requirement applies to applicants, as well as their prospective subrecipients that are not direct beneficiaries of federal financial assistance (e.g., Depository Institutions Holding Company and their Subsidiary Depository Institutions). The CDFI Fund Title VI Compliance Worksheet Training Manual can be accessed here CDFI Fund Title VI Training Manual. The deadline to submit the Title VI Compliance Worksheet in AMIS is before 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) December 20, 2023.
- Applicants must submit their SF-424 electronically via Grants.gov and create an AMIS account before 11:59 p.m. ET on November 20, 2023. SDL Program Grants.gov Funding Opportunity Number: CDFI-2024-SDL.
- The complete SDL Program Application must be submitted electronically through AMIS before 5:00 p.m. ET on December 20, 2023.
- CDFI Fund Title VI Compliance Worksheet must be submitted before 5:00 pm. ET on December 20, 2023 (new requirement).
- The CDFI Fund strongly encourages all materials be submitted at least three days before each corresponding deadline for Grants.gov and AMIS.
Please see the FY 2024 SDL Program NOFA and the Application Instructions for more information on submitting the SDL Program Application.
Learn About Applying to the Small Dollar Loan Program
The CDFI Fund is conducting two live webinars to inform applicants about the FY 2024 SDL Program Application. Please view the SDL Program webpage for the dates, times, and access information for each webinar. Advance registration is not required to participate in the webinars.
The CDFI Fund also held a pre-application webinar about the SDL Program on October 4, 2023. The recording and presentation from that webinar are available on the CDFI Fund’s website.
The CDFI Fund will answer questions about the FY 2024 SDL Program application until 5:00 p.m. ET on December 18, 2023. Contact SDL Program by submitting a Service Request through your AMIS account; by e-mail to SDLP@cdfi.treas.gov; or by phone to (202) 653-0421 (please note this is not a toll-free number). The CDFI Fund will not respond to any applicant questions about the SDL Program round after 5:00 p.m. ET on December 18, 2023.
The CDFI Fund’s IT Support (AMIS) will be answering AMIS-related questions about the FY 2024 SDL Program application until 5:00 p.m. ET on December 14, 2023. Contact IT Support (AMIS) by submitting a Service Request through your AMIS account; by e-mail to AMIS@cdfi.treas.gov; or by phone to (202) 653-0422 (please note this is not a toll-free number). Technical support for AMIS will not be available after 5:00 p.m. ET on December 18, 2023.
To learn more about the CDFI Fund and its programs, please visit www.cdfifund.gov.