What is a CDFI?


What it Means to be a CDFI

Community Development Financial Institutions - or CDFIs - are mission-driven financial institutions that are dedicated to providing financial services to meet the needs of economically disadvantaged individuals within underserved communities. CDFIs invest in local communities and the residents who live there by providing critically needed financing often unavailable from mainstream financial institutions. CDFIs are certified by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund – known as the CDFI Fund. In order to become a certified CDFI, the financial institution must: have a primary mission of promoting community development; provide financial products and services; serve one or more defined low-income target markets; maintain accountability to the community it serves; and be a legal non-governmental entity. All CDFIs share a common mission of serving low-income communities. CDFIs are commonly loan funds, credit unions, community banks, or venture capital funds. Certified CDFIs are part of a national network promoting economic growth in America’s underserved communities by financing businesses, creating jobs, and rebuilding neighborhoods. As a CDFI Santa Ana Federal Credit Union puts the community first and values local, economic growth.