Vol. 108 2024 Issue 4 (July/August)

Providing a Path

IBA-Member Bank Using ITIN Mortgage Loans To Reach Its Local International Population

Providing a Path: IBA-Member Bank Using ITIN Mortgage Loans To Reach Its Local International Population

Three years into their Individual Taxpayer Identification Number Loan Program, Security Federal Savings Bank, Logansport, has found nothing but success in their efforts to assist the international community in their service area. The program helps residents who do not have a social security number, including undocumented immigrants, but have an individual taxpayer identification number.

Security Federal Savings Bank, with seven banking centers across Logansport, Kokomo, Delphi, Lafayette and West Lafayette, created the mortgage loan program to help residents become homeowners.

Since 2021, approximately 80 residents have received a loan. The bank has never had a late payment, according to Bryan Martinez, the bank’s loan originator at its Logansport home office. The success of the home mortgage program led bank leaders to expand it to also cover a home equity line of credit option, loans for investment properties and lower down payments.

“It’s been extremely successful, and we have been able to help a lot of people who were in a position which they didn’t feel they were prepared or financially ready to purchase a home,” said Annette Russell, bank president and CEO, and a former chair of the Indiana Bankers Association.

The program originated when bankers discovered the Hispanic population had grown by 40% in both Cass and Tippecanoe counties over the past decade. There was general frustration among the Hispanic populace about being ineligible for a loan.

The bank realized that much of the Hispanic community’s money was going toward rent, and they were not building equity or achieving home ownership.

“We are not all equal as far as status is concerned,” Russell said. “We knew it was important that these individuals were contributing members of our community and had a desire to stay for employment, for educational purposes and they were also small business owners in our community, so they have really embraced living in our community. They’ve become engaged in our community. We felt it was important to modify our product base to afford them the same opportunities as everyone else.”

Those seeking a loan must provide a valid form of identification other than a driver’s license, a documented source of income, proof of employment and proof of credit. Alternative sources of credit can be used to help those who have not yet established a credit history, including something purchased on a contract or even a Netflix membership — anything that shows the applicant can make a monthly payment.

“It affords them the opportunity to own and start to begin to build some equity in an asset that is truly theirs at a price point that is maybe more manageable than just paying rent,” Russell said. “It gives them a sense of ownership, pride, equity and then they truly are invested in the community.”

Renee Salinas took advantage of the ITIN loan after family and friends told him about it. Speaking through Martinez as an interpreter, Salinas said he first thought it would be a difficult process but quickly discovered he could complete it with relative ease.

Salinas, who owns three restaurants including Logansport’s Mi Mexico at 3101 E. Market St., said the loan opened many doors for him and helped him to start building credit.

Bryan Martinez, left, of Security Federal Savings Bank poses for a photo with Renee Salinas, who took advantage of the bank’s ITIN loan program.

Mi Mexico restaurant, owned by Salinas, located at 3101 E. Market St., Logansport.

The bank has been making a solid push to serve its local international population by hiring bilingual employees, modifying traditional programs to meet the needs of new demographics and printing forms in different languages. They also formed a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force in 2021.

“That [task force] is represented by a member of our team that lives in and/or works in our market area, so whether that be Lafayette or Kokomo or Carroll County,” Russell said. “And now we are entering into Hamilton County and Boone County. So being aware of the demographics of those communities — obviously as you enter into larger communities, the population is more diverse. We have tried to stay in touch, too, with the developments in Kokomo as far as the Korean potential for immigration [due to the incoming battery plant] and how we can adapt to their needs. It’s really just maintaining that awareness of the financial practices of different cultures.”

Martinez said many people believe they won’t be eligible for the ITIN program and are afraid to stop by the bank and inquire about it.

“I just encourage people to come here and ask questions,” he said. “They will probably be surprised, and we will end up being able to help them. Even if for some reason we can’t do it right now, we can still help put you on the right track so maybe you could come back in a few months or in a year, and then you will be able to qualify for that loan.”

This article was originally published in the May 2024 inaugural issue of Diversity Magazine, a publication of the Logansport Pharos-Tribune. Republished with permission.

Josh Flynn enjoys writing about education, the arts and local theater.
Email Josh at

Get Social and Share!

Sign Up to Receive this Publication in your inbox

More In This Issue