When it comes to banking, it takes a village. I mean that in the truest sense of the word.

Recently, I had the opportunity to meet with Andrea Jung, president and CEO of Grameen America, a nonprofit organization founded by Muhammad Yunus, who earned the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006. Yunus started Grameen, a bank in Bangladesh, which provided loans that amounted to just a few dollars each to villagers in his local community. Since Grameen Bank was founded in Bangladesh in 1976, it has provided capital to more than 8.5 million people, of which 97% are women.

Read: Women-owned businesses face a lack of funding — and here’s how to change this

Grameen America was modeled partly on its Bangladeshi counterpart, and it fulfills a similar mission: providing affordable capital to people in need.

Those of us who work in the financial services sector can draw inspiration and guidance from Grameen’s social banking effort. I am the CEO of a for-profit organization that provides capital to those looking to buy a house. Here are three things to be learned from social banking:

1. Banks must increase creditworthiness in their communities: Here is how the Grameen model works: A group of five women go through a five-day financial training program in which they learn the tenets of money management. Upon completion of the course, each woman receives a microloan of up to $15,000 to start a small business. Because every borrower is part of a group, they feel a commitment not only to repay Grameen but also not to let those in their group down. The group must meet with Grameen staff on a weekly basis to continue their education, which helps them forge even more relationships among those in the community.

Remarkably, Grameen America has a 99% repayment rate.

For those of us in the for-profit financial sector, it’s not enough to sit back and wait for potential borrowers to walk in the door or loan applications to be submitted. Because banks (and housing specialty firms) are integral to the U.S. economy, we ought to explore integrating this group application and training method into our affordable loan programs. Imagine a loan officer branch that holds weekly meetings among borrowers on how to increase credit. This wouldn’t just be a boon to the community but also to the company, because it would help increase financial literacy among its customers.

2. Financial companies must provide credit responsibility and resist the urge to lower underwriting standards: Grameen America has made more than 433,000 loans since 2008, which amounts to more than $1 billion in aggregate. This organization has employed a rigorous method so that it can identify those who have the intention to pay.

When I was CEO of Citi Mortgage during the 2008 financial crisis, I realized that while the system was consumed with “strategic defaulters,” as in those that had the ability to pay but not the intention to pay, there were just as many who had the intention to pay but not the ability. These were people who could benefit from financial education and tangible help on how to obtain and repay a loan. While the various loan modification programs addressed the issue of enabling people to get back into homeownership, many others who fell off the bandwagon never got a chance to come back.

By focusing on both the intention and the ability to pay, financial institutions can provide more access to capital to those in need.

Indeed, millions of Americans today want to buy a house and have the intention to pay their mortgage, yet large financial institutions may not approve their applications because of a missed payment or another credit event. Accordingly, housing specialty firms such as mine have stepped in to provide affordable housing in a responsible way. By focusing on both the intention and the ability to pay, financial institutions can provide more access to capital to those in need.

3. Banks should focus on uplifting customers: Grameen reports its customer repayments to Equifax and Experian, which helps borrows build their credit scores. Once a loan is repaid, a Grameen borrower is eligible to apply for a larger loan. In this way, Grameen helps its customers move up the economic ladder.

Imagine if banks and housing specialty firms placed an emphasis on uplifting customers, reflecting the true spirit of home ownership. That is, after a loan is repaid, a loan officer should help counsel his or her customers so they can access even more capital to grow their business or standard of living. Perhaps local bankers and loan officers who can point to the economic improvement of their customers should be rewarded for their service to their communities.

Those of us in the financial sector are always looking for inspiration on what we can do better. Take note of Grameen’s impressive work. We can all do better by doing right.

Sanjiv Das is CEO of Caliber Home Loans, one of the largest purchase housing specialty firms in the United States. He was CEO of Citi Mortgage from 2008 to 2013.

Related: These risk-taking mortgage lenders could trigger the next housing crisis

Also read: 3 reasons why the housing market isn’t as strong as it seems

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