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
CDFI Certification Fact Sheet (English /
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.
Please note: The CDFI Fund is currently requesting public comment on a new CDFI Certification Application and reporting tools.
Please learn more here.