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About CDFIs for Clients

Creating Opportunity for You 

If you dream of starting or growing a business, owning your home, or rehabilitating your home, you need financing. But traditional banks are not always accessible to everyone. That’s where CDFIs come in. 

Community development financial institutions (CDFIs) are a different kind of lender. Our mission is to provide economic opportunities to all, regardless of zip code or background.  

CDFIs offer responsible and affordable financing, with loans tailored to your needs, to start a small business, buy a home, build affordable housing, secure working capital, and more.  

CDFIs also make loans for disaster relief and recovery, building retrofits to increase efficiency and lower energy costs, and residential and commercial solar and other renewable energy projects. 

The best part is that CDFIs aren’t just about providing funds — they offer technical expertise, business advising, and other services to ensure your success. 

We also help people who are trapped in high-cost, predatory loans like payday and car title loans. CDFIs can help you break free from these burdens and take control of your financial future. 

Populations Served by OFN member CDFIs

66% People of Color

85% Low-income


27% Rural

48% 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