CSU Fullerton -- October 17, 2003
College Students Take The Lead In New Consumer Credit Education Initiative
California college students are taking the lead in teaching credit
and money management skills to their peers in a unique twist on a national,
bilingual CreditSmart Español program targeting fast-growing
The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) joined
Freddie Mac earlier this year to launch the national campus edition
of CreditSmart Español, which was created to narrow the homeownership
gap for Hispanic families by offering free classes in building strong
credit and financial literacy. Sixty-eight percent of families overall
own their own home, but only 48 percent of Hispanic families are homeowners,
according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
At California State University, Fullerton, volunteers from the Latino
Business Student Association will offer their first all-day CreditSmart
Español workshop on the campus on Saturday, Oct. 18. The student
trainers are among the nation’s first Hispanic college students
to complete the CreditSmart Español training conducted by HACU
and Freddie Mac, one of the nation’s largest investors in residential
“Who knows better than today’s college students about the
personal challenges of escalating college costs, heavy student loan
burdens and the need to better manage the high cost of credit throughout
their lives,” said HACU President and CEO Antonio Flores.
“We’re delighted that students at Cal State Fullerton are
taking the lead in teaching credit education classes to their peers,
and applaud our member campus for embracing CreditSmart Español
as an important new learning opportunity for their students and community,”
All students and community residents are invited to participate in a
series of workshops that will help participants learn credit and money
management skills to better prepare for future homeownership, a college
education for their children and other lifelong financial goals. In
addition to Cal State Fullerton, HACU and Freddie Mac are training instructors
on campuses with large enrollments of Hispanic students in Texas, Puerto
Rico, New York and Florida.
“Today’s announcement adds a new level of innovation to
CreditSmart Español by establishing an ingenious new source of
financial literacy training for the Hispanic community: California’s
Latino college students,” said Jim Park, vice president of corporate
relations at Freddie Mac. “I want to thank our colleagues at HACU
and Cal State Fullerton for coming together to expand homeownership
and financial opportunity in the Hispanic community.”
“With an uncertain employment outlook facing today’s college
graduates, learning sound financial literacy skills can better equip
them to reach their goals, especially for students facing high college
loan debts after college,” said Rosario Mendez, program manager
for the HACU/Freddie Mac CreditSmart Español alliance.
“For Hispanic college students, who suffer a disproportionately
high college debt-to-income burden upon graduation, these workshops
will prove especially beneficial,” Mendez said.
“All students have questions about what affects their credit score,
particularly as we are trying to build credit,” said Raymond Garcia,
president of Cal State Fullerton’s Latino Business Student Association
and among the 10 certified student trainers who will conduct the CreditSmart
Español workshop on Oct. 18.
"We hope that once they graduate and enter the workforce, students
will be in a position to buy a house. That’s one of my personal
goals,” Garcia said. “This training will be very valuable.”
CreditSmart Español, an extension of Freddie Mac’s trademarked
CreditSmart initiative for U.S. consumers, provides course materials
in English and Spanish to reach a broader cross section of the nation’s
largest ethnic population. A $10,000 grant to establish the initiative
at Cal State Fullerton was provided by Freddie Mac. HACU was enlisted
because of its reach to its more than 350 member colleges and universities,
which serve schools with the largest concentrations of Hispanic higher
education students in the United States.
Cal State Fullerton, a member of HACU, is among the top ranked higher
education institutions in the United States for producing consistently
high Hispanic college graduation rates. “Cal State Fullerton is
a national leader in so effectively addressing the education challenges
facing Hispanics, who suffer the lowest high school and college graduation
rates of any major U.S. population group,” Flores said.
HACU will present an award to Cal State Fullerton as Outstanding HACU
Member Institution at HACU’s 17th Annual Conference Oct. 18-21
just a few miles from the Fullerton campus at the Hyatt Regency-Orange
County in Garden Grove. Freddie Mac officials will join HACU at the
17th Annual Conference on Sunday, Oct. 19, to announce an expansion
of the CreditSmart Español initiative.
Freddie Mac is a stockholder-owned corporation chartered by Congress
to provide a continuous flow of funds to mortgage lenders to sustain
a stable mortgage credit system, thereby reducing mortgage rates paid
by U.S. homeowners. Since its inception in 1970, Freddie Mac has opened
doors for one in six homebuyers and 2 million renters across America.
For more information, visit www.freddiemac.com.
HACU, a nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c (3) organization, is a national
leader in Hispanic outreach, advocacy and higher education initiatives,
including scholarship and internship programs, lifelong learning and
workforce development initiatives. For more information, visit www.hacu.net.