munities. Julia Adame, a branch manager, explains, “Starting
early in my career with mortgages, I became aware that
predatory lending had been occurring in my community.
Since then, I’ve made it a point to educate the non-English-speaking community. Last year I had a monthly home
buyer’s class, only in Spanish, and I also write weekly articles
for this cause.” This value for education is evident throughout the Alterra culture.
In addition to education outreach, companies must
have a robust education experience in place to successfully onboard new customers. Ed Diaz, a loan officer for
Banc Home Loans, who is focused on growing his business
in Hispanic and Latino markets, explains how he uses a
Spanish-language education tool called Mortgage Coach, to
improve his customers’ education experience. “Mortgage
Coach has been a huge way for me to break the chains of
no education. It gives me the ability to really explain to a
client in any culture how the numbers are calculated and
what it means for them.” Mortgage Coach is one of the
leading technologies in the mortgage industry because they
are helping lenders increase sales through meaningful solutions.
3. Product Offering & Credit Resources. In NAHREP’s
State of Hispanic Homeownership Report, limited credit
history is listed as one of the top three barriers to Hispanic
homeownership. Companies who decide to invest in these
markets must be prepared in terms of product offerings
and processes to properly qualify individuals who may have
limited credit histories.
Barrett Burns, President and CEO of VantageScore,
explains that their alternative credit scoring model has
been critical to today’s business development efforts in the
mortgage industry.VantageScore’s credit scoring model was
developed to provide an accurate credit score to the 30-
35 million individuals in the U.S. who would otherwise be
“credit invisible.” Burns says, “One of a number of challenges that lie ahead is a change in credit behavior. For example,
many families are using credit sparingly while others, having
emigrated from countries where the banking systems are
problematic, are slow to use traditional banking services.
Other studies have shown that millennials have been slower to take out credit cards and auto loans than consumers
in the past, leaving them with limited credit histories.
“As a result of those and other credit trends, there are
now tens of millions of so-called ‘credit invisibles.’ Simply by
using more modernized and inclusive credit scoring models,
like our most recent model VantageScore 3.0, mortgage
lending to Hispanics and African-Americans could increase
by 16%, as compared with 2013 levels, without lowering
prudent credit standards.”
(See pg. 8, for more on alternative credit data by FICO
representative, Joann Gaskin).
4. Hiring Diverse Talent. McKinsey & Co. reported that
companies in the top quartile for diversity are 35% more
likely to have higher financial returns than their national
industry medians. Companies must reflect the audience
they hope to reach in order to both access and properly
understand the needs of their customers.
Cheryl Travis-Johnson, Co-Founder of the Council for
Inclusion in Financial Services (CIFS), explains that hiring for
diversity is not enough. Companies must hire with inclusion
at the forefront of their business practices, meaning everyone
has an equal voice at the table. Cheryl explains, “
Multicul-turalism influences business results in multiple ways and can
have an adverse economic impact on business results if leaders do not manage it effectively. This is because employees
will turnover if they do not feel they have a voice at the decision table that can represent their specific needs. Additionally,