The mortgage lending and digital finance company Guaranteed Rate has launched an extensive Language Access Program to expand services to Spanish-speaking clients. The program uses language and cultural information to create an inclusive and informative experience for all clients, regardless of their English proficiency.
“The rapidly growing Latino population has faced language barriers in the mortgage application process for way too long,” says Executive Director of Diverse Segments at Guaranteed Rate Camilo Escalante. “We feel transparency is a right no matter what language you speak. Our solution has no geographic boundaries, as Latinos are integral parts of city, suburban, small town and rural communities in all 50 states. Now, Spanish-speaking homebuyers and real estate agents have trusted mortgage resources wherever they are.”
“When it comes to one of the most significant financial decisions most people make in their lifetimes, details can have a big impact on homebuyers,” says Arlyn Kalinski, vice president, Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Compliance for Guaranteed Rate. “Let’s take loan disclosures as a prime example. These documents reveal critical details on loan terms, projected monthly payments, and how much the consumer will pay in fees and other costs to get their mortgage (closing costs). Guaranteed Rate walks customers through the loan estimates and closing disclosures in Spanish, with a real time digital version the customer can print/save as their reference.”
According to the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, the Hispanic community is projected to make up 70% of new homeowners over the next 20 years. Guaranteed Rate’s Language Access Program ensures that every single decision is presented to LEP Spanish-speakers in a way that makes sense to them both culturally and linguistically.
“Misperceptions about mortgages — everything from acceptable credit scores, good and bad debt, the need for Social Security numbers and the best size of down payments — keep many Latino consumers from even investigating the possibility of owning a home in the U.S.,” says Kalinski. “Every Latino customer has a different story, whether they recently immigrated here or have U.S. roots dating generations. That’s why listening comes first, followed by education. Most countries in South or Central America have unique or varying processes for buying property. Based upon where a potential borrower is from, and the questions they have, we can guide them forward into U.S. homeownership.”
The Language Access Program is available to Guaranteed Rate Language Certified Loan Originators in all 50 states. “We are changing how the entire mortgage industry will communicate with the Hispanic community from here forward,” says Escalante.