Housing Finance for Cajas (Savings and Loans Credit Unions)

Creating affordable housing finance in Mexico


2007 - 2010


Four of Mexico's largest government-supervised credit unions representing more than 2.5 million members, and a housing microfinance institution: Caja Inmaculada, Caja Morelia Valladolid, Caja Popular Mexicana, Caja San Nicolas, and enConfianza.


Three of the cajas planned to create new housing finance units to deploy funding from Sociedad Hiptecaria Federal following international best practices; the other two intended to apply best practices to their existing mortgage finance units.



By the close of 2013, the cajas have extended more than 335 million USD in housing loans since launching or revamping their mortgage businesses.


Lower-income households in Mexico are typically excluded by local banks and must rely on credit unions and MFIs for financial services.  By building housing finance capacity within the credit unions and MFIs, lower-income families now have access to affordable housing loans.


Led strategic planning seminars at each institution, resulting in five year strategic plans and tailored market-entry plans for each.

Developed the organisational structure for each institution, leveraging their internal capacities and strengths.

Adapted the International Finance Corporation’s Housing Toolkit to the Mexican context and developed operating manuals for each institution.

Designed and implemented the step-by-step procedures from loan origination through monitoring for each institution, customised for their core operating systems.

Identified key performance indicators for each institution to monitor the evolution and quality of their housing portfolios.


Successful housing finance products are highly dependent on the source of funding as they are a long-term exposure to the financial institution, but the pricing must also respond to current market conditions and competition.

Local banks and the Mexican government have been serving the housing needs of salaried employees or high income self-employed people for a long time, but neglected those of self-employed people from middle- to low-income segments due to a missguided perception of risk. Since the credit unions and MFIs already served low- to middle-income households, they had confidence in the feasibility of providing housing finance products tailored for these customers.