About CDFIs for Clients

CDFIs Create Opportunity for All

Community development financial institutions (CDFIs) are a different kind of lender. We are private financial institutions that are located in rural, urban, and Native communities nationwide. We provide responsible, affordable loans and other types of financing to people who are unable to get it from a mainstream bank.

CDFIs are driven by a mission to provide financial opportunities to all people, including women, people of color, and those living in low-income communities. CDFIs offer financing for small businesses, housing, communities, and more — with products ranging from relief and recovery loans to financing for working capital — as well as technical expertise to help you succeed.

We also help businesses get out from under high payments from “predatory” payday, car title, and other high-cost, unscrupulous loans.

Populations Served by OFN member CDFIs

61% People of Color

83% Low-income


28% Rural

47% Women

What to Expect When You Meet with a CDFI

CDFIs offer financial products and services tailored to the individuals they serve. For your first meeting, be prepared to discuss and share the following*:


Your Story

Are you an underserved borrower — minority, female, rural, veteran? Why are you contacting a CDFI? Have you already tried and been denied a bank loan? Do you know why? Are you concerned about predatory online lenders?

Needs for a Loan

Be as detailed as possible about your need for a loan, and the purpose of the loan.

Financial Documents and Information

Be prepared to share financial documentation, such as bank statements, tax returns, profit and loss statements, and a list of collateral.

*Each CDFI will have its own requirements and forms to complete — these are examples of the types of materials you may be asked to supply. Also, each CDFI has an area of specialty. Some CDFIs work with small businesses, others work with housing developers, and many lend to build community facilities.

Use OFN’s CDFI Locator to find a CDFI serving your needs and geographic area.

Find a CDFI