Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Click on the Frequently Asked Questions to get a better understanding of Native Community Capital.

About Us

Who is Native Community Capital?

Native Community Capital is a Native Community Development Financial Institution (Native CDFI) certified by the U.S. Department of Treasury.  We are a private, non-profit corporation helping to meet the community- and economic development as well as small-business financing needs of American Indian communities primarily but not exclusively in the Southwest U.S.

What does Native Community Capital do?

Native Community Capital provides personalized assistance and makes prudent investments in tribal communities through Debt Consolidation Loans, Small Business Loans, Project Financing, Construction and Mortgage Loans.  Financial literacy, small business technical assistance and homebuyer education services are offered in house and frequently through partnering entities. The assistance is rendered for the purpose of advancing tribal self-determination by working as a lender and as an honest broker for unlocking capital resources necessary to build Tribal economies.

Why is Native Community Capital doing what it does?

Native Community Capital envisions the day that Indian communities have equal access to private sector funds for community- and economic development.  There are many barriers and reasons why banks are reluctant to lend to families living on Indian reservations – every day we work with tribes and other allies to overcome those barriers!

What makes Native Community Capital different?

Native Community Capital is intended to be a permanent part of the capital markets serving tribes.  It does not make grants but carefully evaluates the risks associated with projects on tribal lands and invests the time to make the project a financial success.  It is not restricted by “low income” guidelines but is able to serve all Indian people on and off of American Indian reservations.

Why do business with Native Community Capital?

Native Community Capital has the experience to make tribal projects work for all parties.  Borrowing from NCC  means capital exchanges and fees stay inside the Native American Community.  Investors who place capital with NCC are assured they are making significant positive impacts in tribal economies.

What products does Native Community Capital offer?

Native Community Capital offers loan products that are shaped by the needs of our client base.  The standard loan products described on our Products Page are subject to change and we welcome a dialogue with tribal and lending industry professionals to ensure our community lending model matches the reality of the marketplace.

Other Questions

Does Native Community Capital profit at the expense of tribal projects?

As a 501c3 tax-exempt organization, Native Community Capital is expressly prohibited from generating and distributing profits to its employees or governance board.  In fact, all fees and revenues generated from financial transactions are reinvested into the organization in order to make more capital available or to support technical assistance for projects on tribal lands.

How does it work?

Native Community Capital works with Tribes and individual Native Americans to make their projects ready for financing.  Native Community Capital will provide capital to trigger the participation of other sources of capital (e.g., permanent long-term financing, equity investments, tax credit financing).  An advisory committee of tribal professionals and other allies help shape the kinds of products and terms of its lending.

Who has it done this for?

Since 2005 it has provided loans or technical assistance to tribes, individual Native American homeowners, Native entrepreneurs and others.  It has approximately $10MM in total assets and has financed $18MM worth of Native owned businesses or construction projects on tribal lands or serving Native Americans on and off of tribal lands. Find out more about some recent projects financed on our Projects Page.

Don’t tribes have casino money to meet their needs?

Indian gaming is not the panacea many outside observers assume.  Fewer than half of all tribes have gaming enterprises and it is only a small minority of tribes situated near metropolitan areas whose gaming enterprises are highly profitable.  For more facts about Indian Gaming visit the National Indian Gaming Association website.

Can’t tribal communities get banks to finance their needs just like any other city or town?

The Department of Treasury has confirmed that a complex mix of market forces, a lack of precedent, and the convoluted nature of laws and regulations that govern activities on Indian reservations means American Indian communities lack access to credit, capital and financial services generally needed to adequately affect social and economic distress.  That’s why Native Community Capital and the Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) industry has evolved – to meet the underserved needs that conventional financial institutions have overlooked.   To learn more about the CDFI industry visit the U.S. Department of Treasury CDFI Fund website.