Guaranteed Rate Launches One of The Most Extensive Spanish Language Mortgage Program in the US Housing Market
Application to Loan Servicing 100% in Spanish Welcomes More People Into Home Ownership and Expands Upon Commitment to Best Serve the Latino Community
CHICAGO (September 22, 2022) – Guaranteed Rate, a leader in mortgage lending and digital financial services, today unveils an expanded Language Access Program (LAP). This program delivers every step and communication within the mortgage experience entirely in Spanish, leveraging both language and nuanced cultural references to deliver a superior user experience for people who only speak or prefer to interact in Spanish. Accessible to consumers in all 50 states, this launch is a major milestone in the company’s constantly expanding commitment to the Hispanic community and the Limited English Proficiency (LEP) community at large.
“The rapidly growing Latino population has faced language barriers in the mortgage application process for way too long,” says Camilo Escalante, Executive Director of Diverse Segments at Guaranteed Rate. “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,” said Arlyn Kalinski, Vice President, 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 reference.”
Guaranteed Rate’s LAP empowers people to transition from paying rent into real estate ownership – investing in homes they live in, and for some, properties they can rent to others. The Hispanic community at large is expected to make up 70 percent of homeownership growth in the US over the next 20 years (*1). Currently there are more than 40 million Spanish-speaking consumers in the U.S., with 40 percent (16 million) considered LEP (*2). According to a 2020 CSA Research report (*3), product information that buyers can read is pivotal in the purchase decision. Given the choice between buying similar products, 76% of respondents will choose the one with information in their preferred language. For people least proficient in English, the preference hovers around 89%. To address this need, Guaranteed Rate ensured that every single contact point – financial education, application technology, bilingual processing, customer service, automated communications, loan estimate and closing disclosures, and loan servicing – was attuned to both the language and culture.
“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.,” said 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.”
LAP infrastructure allows Guaranteed Rate and its Language Certified Loan Originators in all 50 states to now market, advertise, and solicit business in Spanish. “We are changing how the entire mortgage industry will communicate with the Hispanic community from here forward,” Escalante said.
LAP comprises many company initiatives to serve consumers who communicate in languages other than English, including a nationwide bilingual processing team and an over-the-phone interpretation service to translate more than 170 languages. Visit https://www.rate.com/resources/language-services for more information.
About Guaranteed Rate
Guaranteed Rate Companies is a leader in mortgage lending and digital financial services. Headquartered in Chicago, the Guaranteed Rate Companies have more than 8,000 employees in over 850 branches across the U.S., serving all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Since its launch in 2000, Guaranteed Rate Companies have helped more than 1 million homeowners with home purchase loans and refinances, with a total loan volume of more than $116 billion in 2021 alone. The company has cemented itself as an industry leader by introducing innovative technology, offering low rates and delivering unparalleled customer service. Honors and awards include: Top Lender for Online Service for 2018 by U.S. News & World Report; Best Mortgage Lender for Online Loans and Best Mortgage Lender for Refinancing by NerdWallet for 2021; HousingWire’s 2020 Tech100 award for the company’s industry-leading FlashClose℠ technology; No. 3 ranking in Scotsman Guide’s 2021 list of Top Retail Mortgage Lenders; Chicago Agent Magazine’s Lender of the Year for six consecutive years; and Chicago Tribune’s Top Workplaces list for seven consecutive years. Visit rate.com for more information.
*1 National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (March 2022), 2021 State of Hispanic Homeownership report
*2 U.S. Census Bureau, 2016 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates , Table B16001: Language Spoken at Home by Ability to Speak English for the Population 5 Years and Over (2016), available at https://data.census.gov/cedsci/table?q=B16001&tid=ACSDT5Y2016.B16001&vintage=2018
*3 Survey of 8,709 Consumers in 29 Countries Finds that 76% Prefer Purchasing Products with Information in their Own Language