Transforming our Educational Tools to Meet the Needs of More Consumers
Consumer financial empowerment is a core component of Freddie Mac’s mission to Make Home Possible. A foundational understanding of how to manage expenses, grow savings and maintain a strong credit score can put consumers in a better position to reach their personal financial and housing goals and begin to build generational wealth.
Over the past two decades, more than five million consumers at various life stages have received that empowerment from Freddie Mac’s CreditSmart® suite of financial capability and homeownership education resources, which are available at no cost. In 2023, we expanded our education efforts by announcing the relaunch of our CreditSmart financial capability curriculum in Spanish.
The importance of having access to free, high-quality financial capability resources in Spanish cannot be overstated. The Latino community is a major, growing demographic in the United States. According to U.S. Census data from August 2023, 63 million Hispanic people live in the United States. The Hispanic homeownership rate, at 48.6%, lags the White homeownership rate by more than 25 percentage points. Latino consumers have a real opportunity to make strides toward homeownership through financial education and counseling.
Serving this community in culturally responsive and trustworthy ways can help them establish credit, build assets and wealth, and ultimately prepare them to rent or purchase a home.
With expanded content, tailored design and a platform to better meet the needs of Spanish-speaking consumers, our relaunched CreditSmart curriculum in Spanish will help bolster and expand education across a range of relevant topics. Over the years, we evolved CreditSmart into a program that makes financial capability empowering instead of daunting, including with a personalized experience and even new content for renters.
Our curriculum offers consumers a customizable learning journey that breaks down information into digestible micro-modules to help adults with various learning styles and needs chart their own financial capability path at their own pace. The ADA accessible, interactive experience allows consumers to set individualized goals and review their progress. CreditSmart uses insights from behavioral economics and human-centered design techniques to educate consumers on the basics of personal finances, including money management, banking and managing credit. On average, consumers who complete the curriculum give it a rating of more than four stars out of five.
CreditSmart underscores our commitment to supporting affordable housing and financial education which brings first-time homebuyers just a little closer to the dream of owning a home. For example, Memphis, Tenn.-native Nicholas Whiteside used the CreditSmart Homebuyer U course to educate himself and become a homeowner at age 22, leveraging the insights gleaned from our free education to ultimately help him save $12,000. Our educational suite is also being used to empower the historically underserved, such as through the nonprofit organization Soldier On, which provides financial enablement to homeless veterans.
With the relaunch of CreditSmart in Spanish, we are helping more consumers establish credit, build generational wealth and access housing opportunities. But our efforts do not end there. Freddie Mac has partnered with a wide variety of Latino and Hispanic advocacy and industry groups to raise awareness of CreditSmart and the benefits of homeownership. And in addition to rolling out our Spanish-language website and financial capability tool, across our suite we are adding learning tools to help consumers build financial resilience and plan to offer content in additional languages in a forthcoming phase.
At Freddie Mac, we continue our multi-year journey to transform our CreditSmart tools to meet the future needs of people across the country today.
©2023 by Freddie Mac.
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