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Columbia Bank Launches “Advancing Access”, a Special Purpose Credit Program that will pledge nearly $128 million in new loans at subsidized rates to Black and Hispanic neighborhoods throughout New Jersey

August 28, 2023


Columbia Bank recently announced the launch of its “Advancing Access” special-purpose credit program. This is the latest addition to its affordable home loan solutions. Through the program, Columbia Bank aims to advance homeownership in Jersey City, Paterson, Newark, and Camden, as well as in other communities throughout the state, through affordable loan solutions in Black and Hispanic neighborhoods. Over a three-year period, the Bank will pledge approximately $125 million in principal loan originations at subsidized rates, and $3 million in subsidy grants.  Any borrower seeking to purchase or refinance a home in these communities, regardless of race or ethnicity, is welcome to apply.

Eligible borrowers can take advantage of:

  • Discounted rates
  • Grant funding up to $10,000 to assist with down payment or closing costs
  • Ability to combine with existing grants for eligible borrowers within low-to-moderate income census tracts
  • Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) waiver
  • Special underwriting requirements, including lower FICO score requirements

"As a local community bank, delivering products that enhance the diverse communities that we serve is a vital part of our mission,” said Thomas J. Kemly, President and CEO of Columbia Bank. “The product’s name aligns closely with the Bank’s intent . . . To advance access to homeownership throughout the state within Black and Hispanic communities. We look forward to expanding our relationships with local affordable housing organizations, have added additional Account Executives to support expected demand, and are proud to support the success of our ongoing community commitments."

Allotments have been assigned per census tract and may be fully deployed at the time of application. Contact Columbia Bank to verify funding availability. To learn more about the program, visit

The introduction of “Advancing Access” is complementary to the Bank’s longstanding efforts to serve communities within its assessment area. In 2021, the Bank introduced its Access Homeownership Grant, which provides up to $10,000 in down payment or closing cost assistance to qualified low- and moderate-income borrowers. Additionally, the Bank has historically offered an Affordable Mortgage Program which offers no PMI, competitive rates, and waived fees to qualified borrowers. Offering new products and services is just one way Columbia Bank continues to give back. Throughout the year, “Team Columbia” employees work to conduct financial literacy events and volunteer at organizations that support affordable housing efforts. For more about Columbia Bank and its full set of residential loan programs, visit


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