WASHINGTON—The House Financial Services Committee is being urged to support legislation that would provide the NCUA board the flexibility to increase federal credit union loan maturity limits, while separately the lower chamber also passed two bills related to appraisals and diversity, respectively.
The Financial Services Committee conducted a hearing on student loan debt, and CUNA sent a letter in support of the bill, highlighting the ways it said credit unions could support student borrowers if certain barriers were removed.
“While most student loans originate with the government, more and more credit unions are finding ways to support student borrowers through private loans. However, one barrier for many federal credit unions from entering the student lending sector is the 15-year loan maturity limit,” the letter reads. Except for mortgage lending, Federally-chartered credit unions are prohibited by statute from making loans with maturity limits in excess of 15 years… The ability to set a longer loan maturity for Federal credit union loans would provide more opportunities for education that is more affordable.”
H.R. 1661 would grant the NCUA board flexibility to increase federal credit union loan maturities past 15 years. Currently only one state, Oklahoma, has a similar restriction on state credit unions, and there is no such limit for banks, CUNA noted.
House Passes Bills on Appraisals, Diversity
Meanwhile, the House passed two bills on appraiser requirements and diversity, the Homebuyer Assistance Act of 2019 (H.R. 2852) and the Ensuring Diverse Leadership Act of 2019 (H.R. 281).
H.R. 2852 would ensure the Federal Housing Administration’s appraiser requirements are identical to those currently employed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for licensed appraisers. It passed 419-5, CUNA reported.
H.R. 281 would require the Federal Reserve banks to interview at least one candidate reflective of gender diversity and one candidate of racial of ethnic diversity when appointing presidents. It passed by voice vote.
“We thank the House for their support of these bills. The Homebuyer’s Assistance Act will bring positive changes to both consumers and lenders in the mortgage market, and the Ensuring Diverse Leadership Act is a much-needed step toward bringing diversity to Federal Reserve Bank leadership,” said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle in a letter.