HomeFree-USA Partners with VantageScore® Solutions to Expand Opportunity and Prepare HBCU Students for Financial Success
Through financial assistance and other resources, the new partnership will help increase career opportunities and financial education for students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
(Cobb County, GA./Stamford, CT – November 10, 2020) – HomeFree-USA today announced a new partnership with credit score model developer VantageScore Solutions, LLC, to introduce students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to opportunities in the mortgage and real estate finance industry, by way of HomeFree-USA’s Center for Financial Advancement® (CFA). This partnership will aid in providing credit education and financial knowledge, in addition to scholarship and program funding, to students and HBCUs around the country.
The new partnership aims to expand diversity and inclusion in the financial services, mortgage, credit and real estate finance industries, educate HBCU students about credit and credit scores, prepare African American college students for careers through internships and training as well as elevate the financial stature and homeownership potential of students, faculty, parents and community residents. Through these efforts, HomeFree-USA and VantageScore Solutions will work to address larger issues within the financial and mortgage industry, including the home ownership gap that impacts many minorities.
“Partnering with VantageScore will allow students attending HBCUs the opportunity to build their money management and leadership skills, while they learn about credit and building wealth,” said Marcia Griffin, president of HomeFree-USA. “As the largest Black-Owned Housing Counseling organization in America, we strongly believe in the role of education to bridge financial strength and career success for people of color across America.”
As a part of this initiative, VantageScore is establishing an annual scholarship program to recognize and award HBCU students and schools. Funds from the scholarship program will help students continue their studies and will support financial education and leadership programs that continue to impact and educate more students on their campuses. The allocation of scholarship funds is being considered on a case-by-case basis, in close collaboration with each school, to ensure funds are being used to create meaningful impact for individuals and programs.
As an example, the VantageScore scholarship program is supporting the newly formed Residential Leadership Community (RLC) program at Fort Valley State University – a program that currently trains and counsels 26 student leaders on campus. The financial support from this partnership will help the RLC program to continue to grow and develop current and emerging student leaders, despite the financial impact of COVID-19 on the program.
“We strongly believe in expanding diversity and inclusion within the financial industry and growing the next generation of leaders,” said Barrett Burns, CEO and president of VantageScore Solutions. “VantageScore is committed to putting our beliefs into action by creating this new scholarship program to help expand opportunities in our field and increase financial knowledge and leadership skills for students at HBCUs.”
As these efforts continue to evolve, HomeFree-USA and VantageScore Solutions will share periodic updates on the status of the program and its impact.
HomeFree-USA is a leading nonprofit homeownership development and financial empowerment organization. Over its 25-year history HomeFree-USA has produced more than 10,000 first time homebuyers and enjoys a 0% foreclosure rate among the homeowners it has prepared for homeownership. As a HUD Intermediary, HomeFree-USA oversees a nationwide network of 53 community and faith-based nonprofit homeownership development agencies. Learn more at HomeFreeUSA.org.
About VantageScore Solutions
VantageScore Solutions, initially developed by America’s three national credit reporting companies (CRCs) – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, is the independently managed company behind the VantageScore credit scoring model.
VantageScore credit scores are used by lenders, landlords, utility companies, telecom companies, and many others to determine creditworthiness. While there are many credit scoring models, the “win-win” for VantageScore is its innovative, highly predictive, patent-protected, tri-bureau scoring methodology that scores 40 million more people than legacy models – without lowering risk standards – and provides lenders and consumers with more consistent credit scores across all three national CRCs. A recent study found that approximately 12.3 billion VantageScore credit scores were used from July 2018 to June 2019 by over 2,500 unique users, including 2,200 financial institutions and 9 of the top 10 largest banks.