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HomeFree-USA and VantageScore Partner to Expand Opportunity and Prepare HBCU Students for Financial Success

Date: October 26, 2020

Through financial assistance and other resources, a new partnerhsip with HomeFree-USA and VantageScore will help increase career opportunities and financial education for students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities

HomeFree-USA 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 and 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 the 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 help financial education and leadership programs 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 at that University that currently supports, trains and counsels 26 student leaders on campus. The financial support from this partnership will help the RLC program to continue to support the growth and development of 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 regarding the status of the program and its impact.

About HomeFree-USA
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.