Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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

About Us

Who is Native Capital Access?

Native Capital Acces 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 Capital Access do?

Native Capital Access provides technical assistance and financial capital in the form of loans to Tribes, tribal enterprises, American Indian entrepreneurs and business owners as well as Indian-oriented private developers.  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 Capital Access doing what it does?

Native Capital Access 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 Capital Access different?

Native Capital Access 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 tribal projects and invests the time to make the development a financial success.  It is not restricted by “low income” guidelines but is able to serve all Indian people on and off of Indian reservations.

Why do business with Native Capital Access?

Native Capital Access has the experience to make tribal projects work for all parties.  Borrowing from NCA means capital exchanges and fees stay inside the Native American Community.

What products does Native Capital Access offer?

Native Capital Access 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 Capital Access profit at the expense of tribal projects?

As a 501c3 tax-exempt organization, Native Capital Access 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 tribal projects.

How does it work?

Native Capital Access works with Tribes and individual Native Americans to make their projects ready for financing.  Native Capital Access will provide capital to trigger the participation of other sources of capital (e.g., construction financing, bridge loans, pre-development loans, 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 Native American Connections, the Native American Community Health Center and the Yavapai Apache Nation, Navajo Nation, Hualapai Tribe, White Mountain Apache Tribe, Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, Fort Mojave Tribe and others.  It has $2.5 million in total assets and has financed $4MM worth of construction projects for over 200 units of affordable housing and more than 8000 square feet of community facilities. 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 Capital Access and the Community Development Financial Institution 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.