In 2017, CFC teamed up with the National Cooperative Bank (NCB) on a residential and community solar lending program for consumers of electric cooperatives and their subsidiaries.

Jackson Electric Cooperative, based in Bay City, Texas, rolled out the program in May to significant member interest.

“We’re offering Generac back-up generators through it,” says Jackson Electric General Manager Jim Coleman. “We promote them on Facebook and in the local news pages of our statewide magazine, Texas Co-op Power, as well as through fliers placed in the lobbies of each of our offices. Whole-house generators can be expensive to install. By giving members financing options, they gain peace of mind knowing that electricity will continue to flow in the event power goes out for an extended period.”

Coleman adds the financing provides a useful, value-added service that enables his cooperative to better engage with and support consumer needs. “We could not do this on our own. NCB has been great to deal with, and the transactions are effortless.”

Some highlights of the consumer financing package:

  • NCB works with electric cooperatives, but lends directly to consumer-members.
  • The program allows cooperatives to avoid all consumer credit and lending liability risks.
  • Electric cooperatives can choose up to three different loan products, including secured and unsecured loans with a variety of terms.
  • Consumer-members can apply for loans online through an electric cooperative’s website via a link provided by NCB.
  • Rural electric systems that participate will be provided promotional marketing materials.

General guidelines include: Loan eligibility is based on a consumer having a minimum credit score of 680 and no more than a 43 percent debt-to-income ratio, using gross monthly income.

“To take part, an electric cooperative enters into a program agreement with NCB,” explains CFC Senior Vice President of Business and Industry Development Greg Starheim.

For more information, please contact your CFC regional vice president or associate vice president.