CDFI Certification

​​​​​​​​CDFI Certification

CDFI Certification is your gateway to the CDFI community, a network of mission-driven institutions that serve and empower economically distressed communities. This translates into real change for the communities and people who need it most.

Download CDFI Certification Fact Sheet (English)
Download CDFI Certification Fact Sheet (Español) ›

Opening Date
Rolling Applications



Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Certification is a designation given by the CDFI Fund to specialized organizations that provide financial services in low-income communities and to people who lack access to financing. CDFIs include regulated institutions such as community development banks and credit unions, and non-regulated institutions like loan and venture capital funds. By building the capacity of a nationwide network of CDFIs, the CDFI Fund works to empower low-income and underserved people and communities to enter the financial mainstream.

Certified CDFIs are eligible to apply for awards through a variety of programs offered by the CDFI Fund. These awards enable CDFIs to finance a wide range of activities—including mortgage lending for first-time homebuyers, flexible underwriting for community facilities, and commercial loans for businesses in low-income areas. Through varying strategies, each CDFI contributes to the cultivation of a healthy and stable local economy.

For more information, please see our 2015 CDFI Certification Fact Sheet (English / Español).


To apply for CDFI Certification, your organization must submit an application to the CDFI Fund for review. The CDFI Certification Application must demonstrate that the applicant meets each of the following requirements:

  • Is a legal entity at the time of Certification application;
  • Has a primary mission of promoting community development;
  • Is a financing entity;
  • Primarily serves one or more target markets;
  • Provides development services in conjunction with its financing activities;
  • Maintains accountability to its defined target market; and
  • Is a non-government entity and not under the control of any government entity (Tribal governments excluded).

For more detailed information, please refer to the application resources found in the section below.

Are you an individual or business seeking a loan?

Click here to learn how to find CDFIs and CDEs that are providing services in your community.



Apply Certification Steps/DispForm.aspx?ID=1ApplyStep 11Application Materials /programs-training/certification/cdfi/Pages/apply-step.aspx#step1
Reporting Certification Steps/DispForm.aspx?ID=2Reporting Step 22Reporting/programs-training/certification/cdfi/Pages/reporting-step.aspx#step2

Monthly Certification Conference Calls

The CDFI Fund conducts monthly CDFI Certification Conference Calls which are intended to serve as a forum for potential CDFI Certification Applicants, certified CDFIs, and other CDFI certification stakeholders to ask questions and discuss CDFI certification and the CDFI certification process.

CDFI Certification Conference Call Schedule

To access conference calls, participants need to call the toll-free number (888) 677-5132 and dial the number Participant Pass-code “4483913”. No prior registration is necessary. Please note the dial in process is automated. The conference call will have a moderator to direct the Q&As.

  • Thursday, January 19, 2017 – 3:00pm – 4:00pm Eastern
  • Thursday, February 16, 2017 – 3:00pm – 4:00pm Eastern
  • Thursday, March 16, 2017 – 3:00pm – 4:00pm Eastern
  • Thursday, April 20, 2017 – 3:00pm – 4:00pm Eastern
  • Thursday, May 18, 2017 – 3:00pm – 4:00pm Eastern
  • Thursday, June 15, 2017 – 3:00pm – 4:00pm Eastern
  • Thursday, July 20, 2017 – 3:00pm – 4:00pm Eastern
  • Thursday, August 17, 2017 – 3:00pm – 4:00pm Eastern
  • Thursday, September 21, 2017 – 3:00pm – 4:00pm Eastern
  • Thursday, October 19, 2017 – 3:00pm – 4:00pm Eastern
  • Thursday, November 16, 2017 – 3:00pm – 4:00pm Eastern
  • Thursday, December 21, 2017 – 3:00pm – 4:00pm Eastern



CDFI Certification Conference Call Events/DispForm.aspx?ID=81CDFI Certification Conference Call2017-11-16T20:00:00Z2017-11-16T21:00:00ZConference Call
CDFI Certification Conference Call Events/DispForm.aspx?ID=82CDFI Certification Conference Call2017-12-21T20:00:00Z2017-12-21T21:00:00ZConference Call

CDFI Contact Information

Have questions/concerns about CDFI Certification?

CCME Helpdesk
Phone: (202) 653-0423

IT Helpdesk
Phone: (202) 653-0300