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Being able to view credit reports in Spanish will be a huge help to Rosalie Remarais’ work as a community development mortgage officer at a five-star bank in Rochester, New York.
Remarais works with low- and middle-income families (many of whom are first-time home buyers) to help them buy homes. When working with potential homeowners, the first thing she does is to check their credit scores and view credit reports-something that many people have never done before.
For Spanish-speaking clients who work with her, writing documents in their native language will save her time in translating reports for them and help clients resolve any errors they find themselves.
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Equifax will now provide credit reports in Spanish
“This will give them the power to say,’I’m in control,'” she said. “Because when it is in English, the only person who can control the credit report is me.”
Spanish credit report is now available
Beverly Anderson, President of Equifax Global Consumer Solutions, said: “This is the first and only time that an organization can provide consumers with a fully translated report in Spanish.” She added that people can online and Request reports in Spanish via email, and the company also provides customer service support in Spanish.
This move is a long time for the Hispanic community in the United States, because Spanish is the second most common language after English. Approximately 62 million people in the United States are Hispanic, and over 40 million people use Spanish as their first language.
“This is something we have been asking for for a long time,” said Chi Chi Wu, a lawyer at the National Consumer Law Center, adding that some advocates have been working on this for decades. “This is positive.”
Credit report is an important financial tool
Building strong credit is important for many things from buying a house to a car.
Empire’s CASH-Roc Your Refund Project and Language Access Manager Marlene Cortes said: “This is not only an important step for the immigrant community, but also for bilingual Americans. English is their second language, but Spanish is theirs. First language.” Judicial Center, a non-profit law firm specializing in social and economic justice in New York State. She said it will also help children whose parents do not speak English, so interpretation and translation are necessary.
Access to your credit report (a compilation of financial data on which your credit score is based) means you can better understand the score and correct any errors. This is because if consumers believe that there is a problem with their credit score-which may be reduced by incorrect information or identity theft-they cannot dispute FICO or another credit scoring model, VantageScore.
Due to the inability to read and understand the reports in Spanish, some consumers are unaware that their reports are incorrect or their identities may be stolen.
Remarais has seen bilingual and limited English customers pay thousands of dollars to clean up their credit reports, and they can do these things for free.
“Since the credit report is in Spanish, it enables people to do it themselves,” Cortez said.
The timing of the new Spanish-language report will help those who have been financially hit by the coronavirus pandemic, including many basic Spanish-speaking workers. Due to Covid, consumers can get one free credit report every week by April 2022 instead of only one free report every year.
This is a particularly good time for everyone to review the credit report, as errors in the documents have increased during the pandemic.
February and March 2021, Consumer report 6,000 volunteers were asked to retrieve their credit reports, and 34% found at least one error. And, from 2019 to 2020, complaints about incorrect information in consumer credit reports surged by nearly 120%. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
To be sure, there are other companies that provide other services for Spanish speakers. FICO has provided Spanish credit scores since 2012. Experian provides Spanish resources and education, and TransUnion provides Spanish translation of credit reports over the phone.
However, Wu said that these products are different from those obtained by English-speaking people, which is a problem.
“What you really want is a complete shebang, just like someone who speaks English,” she said, adding that accessing paper and digital reports in your native language is important because credit companies usually experience long phone calls time.
Other companies also serve the community, such as Crediverso, a Hispanic personal finance company founded in 2019 that provides free bilingual products, including Spanish credit reports.
Carlos Hernandez, founder of Crediverso, said: “I think it all starts with identifying needs that financial institutions have been neglecting for a long time.” “We realize that, of all financial products, Hispanics The community is underserved compared to the general market.”
Advocates hope that Equifax’s actions will prompt other major credit reporting companies, TransUnion and Experian, to launch their own Spanish translation reports, which are available online, by email, and by phone.
They also hope that the company will consider providing reports in more languages in the future, including Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Arabic and even American Sign Language.
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