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Eligibility Requirements


The following types of financial institutions are eligible to apply for membership in the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco:

  • Federally insured commercial banks, savings institutions, and industrial loan companies
  • Credit unions, including:
    • Federally insured credit unions
    • Privately insured, state-chartered credit unions
    • Credit unions that are certified by the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
  • Community development loan funds and venture capital funds that are certified by the CDFI Fund of the U.S. Department of the Treasury
  • Insurance companies (excluding captive insurance companies)

All members are required to purchase stock in the Bank and meet certain statutory requirements and credit underwriting standards. The statutory eligibility requirements include:

  • The applicant is duly organized under federal, state, or tribal laws.
  • The applicant is inspected and regulated under state or federal banking or similar laws. (A CDFI applicant is certified by the CDFI Fund instead.)
  • The applicant either originates or purchases long-term home mortgage loans (loans with an original term-to-maturity of five years or more). An applicant may also qualify by purchasing and holding mortgage-backed securities representing an undivided interest in long-term home mortgage loans.
  • The applicant has at least 10% of its total assets in residential mortgage loans, excluding securities sold under repurchase agreements. Community financial institutions (defined as FDIC-insured depository institutions with average total assets over the preceding three-year period of less than $1,224 million), insurance companies, and CDFIs are exempt from this requirement. 
  • The applicant's financial condition is such that the Bank may safely make advances to it. 
  • The character of the applicant's management and its home financing policy are consistent with sound and economical home financing. For insurance companies and CDFIs, a written narrative describing the manner in which the applicant supports housing finance is generally sufficient.

A more detailed discussion of our eligibility requirements and underwriting review standards is included in our Membership Guidelines (PDF) and in the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Membership Regulations, which can be found in the Code of Federal Regulations (Title 12, Part 1263).

Non-Member Housing Associates

The Bank may extend credit to approved housing associates. An approved housing associate is not a member of the Bank. In general, governmental agencies, authorities, organizations, or publicly sponsored corporations that meet certain regulatory requirements are eligible to be certified by the Bank as housing associates. Entities chartered as corporations under state, federal, local, or tribal law, may also be eligible.

Certain housing associates that intend to obtain Bank credit for the purpose of facilitating residential or commercial mortgage lending to benefit low-income individuals or families may qualify as state housing finance agencies (SHFAs) as defined by the regulations governing the FHLBank System, which would allow them to pledge additional types of collateral to secure Bank credit.

The Bank may offer its housing associates many of the same types of credit products that it offers to its members. By regulation, however, housing associates are not eligible to participate in or use the following community programs:

  • Advances for Community Enterprise
  • Community Investment Program
  • Affordable Housing Program
  • Individual Development and Empowerment Account Program
  • Workforce Initiative Subsidy for Homeownership Program 
  • Access to Housing and Economic Assistance for Development Program

Please email us for more information about becoming an approved housing associate.