Experian Helps Further Financial Literacy During Hispanic Heritage Month

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Through April 20, 2022, Experian, TransUnion and Equifax will offer all U.S. consumers free weekly credit reports through AnnualCreditReport.com to help you protect your financial health during the sudden and unprecedented hardship caused by COVID-19.

In celebration of National Hispanic American Heritage Month, Experian is excited to announce its partnership with UnidosUS, the nation's largest Hispanic/Latino civil rights and advocacy organization.

Formerly known as the National Council of La Raza, UnidosUS aims to shine a spotlight on Hispanic contributions to U.S. society, culture and economic growth. Experian has partnered with Unidos to help support its financial education efforts for the communities it serves.

Credit and Financial Health in the Hispanic Community

Latino Americans often find themselves at a disadvantage when trying to improve their financial status. Barriers such as poor credit scores and a lack of personal finance education can make achieving financial goals like homeownership and saving for retirement more challenging.

New research from Bank of America's Better Money Habits report underscores the serious need for financial resources, especially to help young Hispanics plan for a better financial future. Thirty-eight percent of Hispanic millennials reported difficulty saving money, and 24% said they live paycheck to paycheck.

As for business owners, Experian's 2021 Small Business Credit Survey found even among Hispanic business owners with good credit scores, only 20% of those who sought traditional financing were likely to receive funding (compared with 40% of white business owners). And this despite the fact that Hispanic-owned businesses represent the fastest-growing segment of U.S. small business owners, increasing 34% over the past 10 years, according to the Accion Opportunity Fund.

As the number of Hispanic consumers in the U.S. grows, there is a critical need to improve financial education. In the next 20 years, 70% of new homeowners in the U.S. will be Hispanic, according to Unidos—but personal finance knowledge among Hispanic adults is lower than that of the U.S. adult population in general.

Financial capability is built on financial knowledge. A greater understanding of credit and personal finance can empower Hispanic Americans to take control, make informed decisions and reach their financial goals. Resources that reach the Hispanic community are a first step toward increasing this group's financial power.

Resources for Hispanics to Improve Financial Health

Unidos and Experian are dedicated to helping Hispanic Americans improve their financial futures by providing resources and guidance to build a solid credit history and make knowledgeable economic choices. The following are just a handful of the resources available to the Hispanic/Latino community to support their financial education efforts.

UnidosUS

UnidosUS is the nation's largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization. It focuses on education, health, immigration, racial equity, political empowerment and creating financial opportunities for Latinos to build assets and obtain homeownership.

As part of their partnership, Experian participated in UnidosUS' LatinX IncluXion Summit in early October. The conference discussed important topics related to diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace, community and more.

Experian's Spanish-Language Educational Resources

Experian's Ultimate Field Guide to Understanding and Improving Your Credit (English-language version) or Comprender y Mejorar Su Puntaje de Crédito (Spanish-language version): Download Experian's free eBook for a comprehensive guide on understanding and improving your credit. Learn how to establish credit, why credit is important to your financial success, and how to build a strong credit history.

You can also find credit and finance articles from Experian in both English and Spanish:

Hispanic Federation

Hispanic Federation is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to empower and advance Hispanic communities, families and institutions. It offers community assistance and advocacy services in the areas of education, health, immigration, civic engagement, economic empowerment and the environment.

Hispanic Wealth Project

The Hispanic Wealth Project is committed to empowering Latinos to fully participate and prosper in the U.S. economy through education, small business development and sustainable homeownership.

Understanding and Improving Your Credit

Seeking out resources is just the start for those in the Hispanic community and beyond who want to increase their personal finance and credit knowledge. Understanding how credit works is also an important step in improving your financial health.

Your credit scores and reports are important factors in the ability to finance major purchases, such as a home or car. Good credit scores can also help you get more favorable terms, such as lower interest rates, higher dollar limits and more lender options, when seeking a loan or credit card.

Whether starting from scratch or looking to improve your credit score, practicing a few good financial habits will help:

  1. Make all debt payments on time. Your debt payment history on accounts such as credit cards and loans is the most important factor in your FICO® Score , which is the credit scoring model used by 90% of top lenders. The easiest way to ensure payments are made on time is by setting up payment reminders or automatic bill payments for at least the minimum payment due.
  2. Keep credit balances low. Credit scores are directly affected by how much revolving debt (such as credit cards) you carry compared with your credit limits. The lower your balances, the better for your credit. Keeping credit card balances under 30% of your credit limit will help avoid damage to your credit score, while paying off your balance each month can help you raise your credit score and avoid costly interest charges.
  3. Only apply for credit when you need it. Applying for several credit cards at once could hurt your credit—especially if you end up with large balances that are difficult to repay. In general, it's best to apply for credit just when you need it, and then manage those credit accounts responsibly.
  4. Monitor your credit reports. To keep an eye on your debt accounts, you can get a free copy of each of your credit reports from the three national consumer credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax) through AnnualCreditReport.com. Check to make sure all the information on your reports is correct; inaccuracies could be signs of a payment that's been incorrectly reported by a creditor or even identity theft.
  5. Register for Experian Boost . Free from Experian, Experian Boost allows you to add non-reporting accounts such as utility, phone and streaming service bills to your Experian credit report, which could help raise your FICO® Score.

As you celebrate National Hispanic American Heritage Month, make a resolution to invest in your financial future by taking advantage of all UnidosUS and Experian have to offer. Start by learning your credit score with Experian's free credit score and report and then stay on top of your credit with Experian's free credit monitoring service.

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