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ORLANDO, Fla.-Most Hispanic and African-American households do not own their homes, making them a tremendous mortgage lending opportunity for credit unions, according to NCUA Board Member Deborah Matz. Addressing the American Credit Union Mortgage Association annual conference, Matz told attendees, “While more than 70% of white households own their home, fewer than half of Hispanic and African-American households are homeowners. These populations, therefore, provide a new market for credit union services. To really expand into mortgage lending, credit unions need to reach out to those who do not yet own their first home.” Potential first time homebuyers are an excellent target for credit unions. They “must have the resources and the know-how – if they don’t understand money, credit or budgeting, they cannot be financially successful and will never become homeowners. That’s where credit unions come in. Financial literacy is the first step on the road to homeownership and no one does financial literacy training as well as credit unions.” In addition to being a worthy cause, Matz said, “Financial education and affordable mortgage programs entice people to join your credit union.” She explained that these are “a great opportunity for credit unions to expand their markets and they are something all credit unions should be doing.”

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