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Freddie Mac and Hispanic organizations launch bilingual initiative. (Business Alert).

FREDDIE MAC HAS LAUNCHED CREDITSMART Espanol, a bilingual credit education program designed to help consumers--particularly Hispanic families and individuals--build and maintain good credit. Freddie Mac will implement the program with the help of seven national Hispanic partner organizations: the Cuban American National Council (CNC), the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP), the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the National Puerto Rican Coalition (NPRC) and the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute (USHLI).

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, while 68 percent of the nation's families own their own homes, less than 48 percent of the nation's Hispanic families are homeowners. A recent survey by NAHREP, underwritten by Freddie Mac, found that barriers to Hispanic homeownership include lack of credit, language and cultural barriers and lack of information about the homebuying process.

The CreditSmart Espanol curriculum is designed to help increase consumers financial literacy by providing life-long money management skills. It provides important information about credit and credit management, insight into how lenders assess credit histories and how credit plays a profound role in achieving one's financial goals--such as renting an apartment, buying a car or home or getting a job.

The curriculum is usually taught in an eight- to 10-hour course that trained instructors can tailor to meet the needs of the participants (for instance, young people in college or just out of college have different concerns than older people). The bilingual curriculum also makes it easy for instructors to teach classes with diverse Hispanic groups, including those with limited or no English proficiency, and new immigrants. The course materials include lessons for unbanked consumers on the importance of establishing credit with a financial institution, information on homeownership and text in both Spanish and English.

The partner organizations will deliver the CreditSmart Espanol curriculum through their affiliates and local offices to Hispanic communities across the country. Consumers unable to attend workshops may access a condensed online version of the curriculum at www.freddiemac.com/creditsmartespanol.
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Title Annotation:CreditSmart Espanol credit education program
Publication:Mortgage Banking
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2003
Words:344
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