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SPOKANE, Wash. – Puedo cualificar para una hipoteca? That’s Spanish for “can I qualify for a mortgage” and it’s a question that SharperLending LLC hopes to help its 17,000 client lenders, including credit unions and banks, answer. SharperLending provides Web-based bundling for ordering, storing and managing mortgage products from initial application through closing. It now is including in those services Spanish-language credit reports presented in PDF files for downloading and sharing with prospective borrowers. “Our clients have been asking for this because of the growing surge in the Spanish-speaking market in our country,” says Dave Black, president and CEO of Spokane-based SharperLending. “A lot of those people need to apply for home loans and this is a way to gain an edge in serving that market.” SharperLending’s credit union division offers the credit reports, in both languages, bundled with credit simulators and other tools from CreditXpert and the Spanish version of the credit reports is a natural outgrowth of that business, Black says. “Because of the FACT Act and other regulatory issues, we had been working on ways to more effectively disclose to consumers how their credit scores are derived, and that combined with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and others targeting the Hispanic market as an emerging factor, made it make sense for us to put together a Spanish credit report,” he says. The project involved “creating a new type of output for all the static information in a credit report, not just simply translating words and phrases,” Black says. “We took tens of thousands of credit reports and built a language conversion table and then we handed out the results to clients to see if the new reports were accurate.” The process is ongoing, and just getting the initial product ready took a few months and a lot of work, Black says, adding, “But it was a lot of fun. I’m primarily a one-language person, but my IT director is a Puerto Rican who grew up in New York and he really worked directly with our clients to make sure we did it right.” One user of SharperLending’s technology considering the dual-language reports is Laredo FCU in Laredo, Texas. Laredo FCU uses the SharperLending and CreditXpert products through a re-selling relationship with the San Antonio Retail Merchants Association.

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