Minority-owned banks and credit unions, classified as Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) by government agencies, are financial institutions where most board members or stockholders are people of color.
MDIs play a crucial role in helping underserved communities. While such institutions don’t solely lend to minorities, they tend to provide more loans and accounts to minority communities than non-minority-owned banks do, according to data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. This is particularly important because members of minority communities, like African Americans, often lack access to financial services and are typically underserved by financial institutions.
Supporting Black-owned or Black-led financial institutions and lenders by doing business with them can help minority communities economically.
Black-owned and Black-led auto lenders
Note that the lenders are listed alphabetically.
Primary location(s): Columbus, Ohio
Good for: Borrowers in Franklin County, Ohio, who want to bank with an institution that empowers the local community. Note that Adelphi is a newer institution that primarily provides commercial lending and, according to a spokesperson for the bank, has only approved a handful of auto loans thus far.
Primary location(s): Birmingham, Alabama
Good for: Residents of Birmingham, Alabama, with great credit scores. Alamerica only provides auto loans under exceptional conditions, and applicants must have good credit scores to apply. The bank does not offer prequalification and does not provide refinance loans.
Andrews Federal Credit Union
Primary location(s): Maryland, New Jersey, Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C.
Good for: Military service members based on the East Coast. The credit union also serves nonmilitary personnel who meet other eligibility requirements, like working for one of its employer groups. In addition to loans for traditional vehicles, AFCU offers financing for new and used boats, motorcycles and recreational vehicles (RVs).
Citizens Trust Bank
Primary location(s): Alabama and Georgia
Good for: Veterans and first-time car buyers in Alabama and Georgia. Citizens also offers auto refinance loans. While any U.S. resident can apply for a credit card with the credit union, only residents of Georgia or Alabama can apply for consumer loans, like auto loans, through the institution.
Commonwealth National Bank
Primary location(s): Mobile, Alabama
Good for: Residents of Mobile, Alabama, who want to borrow from a local institution. The bank provides loans for all borrowers, with a particular focus on serving its historically underserved African American community. Commonwealth National Bank offers vehicle loans for up to 90% of the vehicle’s value, according to a spokesperson for the bank, and also offers auto loans for motorcycles, motor homes, campers, travel trailers, boats, personal water-crafts and more.
Democracy Federal Credit Union
Primary location(s): Maryland, Virgina and Washington, D.C.
Good for: Borrowers in the D.C. metro area who want a variety of auto loan options and the benefits of credit union membership. In addition to new and used purchase loans, the credit union offers refinance loans and lease buyout loans. Democracy also offers additional benefits like GAP insurance and an auto advantage program that extends borrowers’ manufacturer warranties.
First Independence Bank
Primary location(s): Detroit, Michigan, and Minneapolis, Minnesota
Good for: Detroit or Minneapolis applicants seeking a preapproved car loan with a local bank. First Independence provides car loans as well as financing for recreational vehicles like campers, motorcycles, motor homes, snowmobiles and travel trailers.
First Security Bank and Trust Company
Primary location(s): Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Good for: Auto loan borrowers in Oklahoma City who want to support the institution’s mission of serving minority communities in the area. The bank gives new and used car loans, as well as refinancing loans.
Primary location(s): Chicago, Illinois
Good for: Individuals who live in Chicago’s South Side community. The bank’s website notes that it aims to serve communities outside of Chicago, in Illinois and nationwide, in the future.
Hope Federal Credit Union
Primary location(s): Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee
Good for: Borrowers in these southern states with limited or no credit history looking for flexible auto loan terms. Hope also provides financing for RVs, boats and all-terrain vehicles.
Liberty Bank and Trust Company
Primary location(s): Alabama, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee
Good for: Borrowers in primary locations that the bank serves seeking flexible new and used-car auto loans. Consumers can apply for a Liberty auto loan online or at a local branch. Some of the bank’s auto loan features include the ability to make fixed monthly payments, no prepayment penalty and a credit decision within hours of application.
Mechanics & Farmers Bank
Primary location(s): North Carolina
Good for: North Carolina borrowers who want to buy new or used cars between $7,500 and $75,000. The bank also offers auto loan refinancing. M&F has an “Outstanding” Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) rating from the FDIC, which means that it has maintained a record of meeting the needs of the low to moderate-income communities that it serves.
Municipal Employees Credit Union
Primary location(s): Maryland
Good for: Auto loan applicants in the greater Baltimore region wanting the convenience of an online car buying service and the benefits of credit union membership. Municipal members can use its online vehicle shopping service AutoSMART to search for and compare new and used cars at dealers near them. The credit union provides financing for new and used cars, as well as auto refinance loans.
Primary location(s): Columbia, South Carolina
Good for: South Carolina residents, particularly those who are historically underserved people and those who were previously unbanked or underbanked.
SecurityPlus Federal Credit Union
Primary location(s): Baltimore and Ownings Mill, Maryland
Good for: Applicants who want flexible auto loan terms and rate discounts. The credit union provides new and used car loans with loan terms ranging from less than 12 months up to 84 months. SecurityPlus also features a 0.25% APR discount for setting up automatic payments.
St. Louis Community Credit Union
Primary location(s): St. Louis County, Missouri
Good for: Applicants in St. Louis County seeking a variety of auto lending options. The credit union offers new and used car loans, both external and internal refinance loans, as well as cash-out refinancing, private party loans and lease buyout loans.
Unity National Bank of Houston
Primary location(s): Texas and Georgia
Good for: Individuals in the bank’s service areas who want a preapproved auto loan from a local institution.
Methodology: We created this index of auto lenders based on lists of “minority depository institutions,” or MDIs, from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the National Credit Union Administration. The FDIC considers a bank or financial institution to be a MDI if at least 51% of its stockholders are “minority individuals” or most of its board of directors and the community it serves are minorities. The NCUA considers a credit union to be a MDI if more than 20% of its current members, board members and community it serves are Asian American, Black American, Hispanic American or Native American.
Note that this is not an exhaustive list.