Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs)

North Side Federal Credit Union

Founded in 1974 by a small group of women who believed all people should have equal access to capital, North Side Federal Credit Union aims to provide affordable banking services and expand the availability of alternative financial resources.  North Side has a “social change” philosophy based on the notion that alternative resources can lead to a more economically just community and greater financial stability for its membership.  The credit union currently holds over $4 million in deposit accounts and has disbursed more than $45 million in loans since its inception.

Community Investment Corporation

The Community Investment Corporation (CIC) provides loans for the acquisition, rehabilitation, and preservation of affordable rental housing in the Chicago metropolitan area.  To do so, it manages a $225 million loan pool, which includes funds from 40 investor banks that have made multiyear commitments to CIC.  Since 1984, CIC has made over 2,000 loans totaling $1.2 billion for the rehabilitation of more than 55,000 units that provide affordable housing for upwards of 130,000 people.


IFF, formerly known as the Illinois Facilities Fund, provides loans and real estate consulting to nonprofits based in the Midwest, with a particular focus on those that serve low-income communities and special needs populations. It is the largest nonprofit CDFI in the Midwest and one of only a few nationally to earn the CDFI Asssesement and Rating System (CARS) AAA+1 rating. Established in 1988, IFF now has assets of more than $498 million.  In 2015, its loan program made 117 loans totaling over $95.5 million—resulting in the creation or maintenance of 3,713 jobs.

Accion Chicago

Launched in 1994, Accion Chicago is an alternative lending organization dedicated to providing credit and other business services to small business owners who do not have access to traditional sources of financing.  Unlike conventional financing groups that make loans based on revenue, collateral, and/or credit, Accion Chicago’s lending is largely character-based and relies on a client’s commitment to his/her business and references from customers and suppliers.  Since its inception, Accion Chicago has made nearly 4,000 loans totaling $31 million.

CDFI Certification: A Building Block for Credit Union Growth

Terry Ratigan

As CDFI (community development financial institution)-certified credit unions have grown more than 40 percent in the last six years, their capacity to serve low-income and underserved areas has grown accordingly. This new white paper from the Credit Union National Association and the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, the only national intermediary exclusively devoted to community development credit unions, describes community development credit union performance in 2013 and outlines the process and advantages of CDFI certification. 

Cincinnati Development Fund

The Cincinnati Development Fund (CDF) is a nonprofit lending institution focused on financing the development of affordable housing and community revitalization projects in the Greater Cincinnati area. Since its establishment in 1988, CDF has made more than $250 million in loans, impacting more than $1 billion in economic development work and creating more than 3,500 housing units. Read more about Cincinnati Development Fund...

Whom Do Black-Owned Banks Serve?

Russell D. Kashian, Richard McGregory and Derrek Grunfelder McCrank
Communities and Banking

Enterprise Financing for WealthWorks Value Chains

Marjorie Kelly

This new report, authored by Democracy Collaborative Senior Fellow Marjorie Kelly, offers a comprehensive framework of community investing, ownership, and wealth control models to enhance the social, ecological, and economic well-being of rural areas.