Aeris provides the only comprehensive, third-party assessment of community development financial institution (CDFI) loan funds, helping investors evaluate opportunities that meet their impact goals and risk parameters. Aeris Rating Reports draw on Aeris’ deep expertise and leverage our proprietary system for assessing CDFI impact and financial performance, risk, and mitigants. Aeris has issued more than 500 CDFI ratings since 2004.

Aeris Impact Ratings assess the pursuit and achievement of social mission as evidenced by products and strategies, use of resources, and how impact is measured and informs the refinement of those products and strategies. The Aeris methodology can be applied to any type of mission-driven entity or program.

Aeris Financial Ratings assess capitalization, asset quality, management, earnings, and liquidity—often referred to as a ‘CAMEL’ assessment. The Aeris methodology evaluates financial strength and risk in the context of the community finance sector, and does not use statistically-generated benchmarks due to the limited size of the sector, the wide variety of business models and operating environments.

AAA1 is the best possible rating. A CDFI loan fund with an Aeris financial strength and performance rating of 3 or better is considered investment-grade. CDFIs that receive a “+” also demonstrate leadership in public policy change. Click here for full definitions of the Aeris ratings scale, as well as the current distribution of ratings among CDFIs.

NOTE: As of January 1, 2017, the Aeris rating scale will be changing to a star system for impact performance (i.e., “four stars” to “one star”) and a letter format for financial strength and performance (i.e., “AAA” to “B”). Click here for a conversion table from the pre-2017 rating scale to the new rating scale.