Freddie Mac, HBCUs Team Up to Launch CreditSmart Initiative
Freddie Mac, one of the nation’s biggest mortgage investors, launched a community-based consumer education outreach program last month designed to help consumers get and keep good credit.
The CreditSmart program is the newest addition to “Don’t Borrow Trouble,” the national award-winning campaign to help people strengthen their credit, make wise financial decisions and avoid predatory lending practices.
Joining Freddie Mac in developing and delivering CreditSmart’s curriculum to communities across the county are: the National Urban League, Rainbow/PUSH Coalition’s One Thousand Churches Connected, the American Homeowner Education and Counseling Institute (AHECI) and five historically Black colleges and universities — Benedict College; Clark Atlanta University, Florida A&M University; Howard University; and St. Augustine’s College.
“Freddie Mac is dedicated to helping America’s families realize their housing dreams,” says Leland C. Brendsel, chairman and CEO of Freddie Mac. “Information should not be a barrier to homeownership. Our CreditSmart initiative will help consumers understand how to get and keep good credit so that they can buy a home.”
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the rate of homeownership for all Americans is 67 percent, while the rate of homeownership among African Americans is 47 percent.
The CreditSmart curriculum, which teaches prospective homebuyers the basics of getting and keeping the good credit necessary to buy a home, was developed over the last two years by the five colleges and universities, with the assistance of AHECI. The curriculum has been tested in 10 cities with more than 800 consumers. Evaluation surveys indicated an overwhelmingly positive response from most of the consumers.
Plans now are to replicate the curriculum and bring it to communities nationwide through the college and university partners, as well as through the affiliated of the National Urban League, Rainbow/PUSH Coalition’s One Thousand Churches Connected and other partners.
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