What is the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA)?
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What is the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA)?

by Andrea Colline

Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) credit is earned by financial institutions for meeting the credit needs of low- and moderate-income (LMI) individuals and communities. One way for a financial institution to earn CRA credit is by partnering with non-profit financial counseling agencies that serve LMI individuals and communities.

To obtain CRA credit for working with a non-profit financial counseling agency, a financial institution would need to demonstrate that it is providing meaningful support to the agency and that the agency's services are meeting the credit needs of LMI individuals and communities.


Here are a few ways a financial institution might demonstrate this:

  1. Make a financial contribution to the agency: Financial institutions can earn CRA credit by making a financial contribution to a non-profit financial counseling agency. The contribution can be in the form of a grant or a loan.
  2. Refer customers: Financial institutions can earn CRA credit by referring customers who may benefit from the services offered by the non-profit agency.
  3. Collaborate on special projects: Financial institutions can earn CRA credit by collaborating with the non-profit agency on special projects that benefit LMI communities. Examples include developing a credit-building program, working on a housing project or providing financial education to a specific population.
  4. Provide in-kind support: Financial institutions can earn CRA credit by providing in-kind support to the non-profit agency, such as office space, equipment or other resources.

It is important to note that the specific ways that a financial institution can earn CRA credit will vary depending on the regulatory agency responsible for overseeing the institution's CRA compliance. it's recommended for institutions to consult with the appropriate regulatory agency to ensure that the activities they undertake with a non-profit counseling agency are eligible for CRA credit.


To learn more on partnering opportunities with Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Rochester, contact:

Andrea Colline, Outreach Coordinator 

585-546-3440 x229