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AIME expands grant program to include veterans, military spouses

Group wants to grow independent mortgage broker channel beyond 25% in 2021

The Association of Independent Mortgage Experts isn’t done helping others. 

After announcing the creation of Spark in September – a vertical aimed at creating paths for women and minorities in the mortgage industry – AIME’s newest program, Military in Mortgage, will offer small business grants and specialized job training for the mortgage industry to veterans and military spouses. 

AIME officials said veterans are often well-suited for a leadership role in the mortgage industry due to their unique training, and their skills are beneficial and easily transferable as they are able to implement and follow the systems and processes that create a streamlined mortgage experience for homebuyers.

“We are so excited to include the military community in the programs offered under Spark,” said Katie Sweeney, executive vice president of strategy at AIME. “These grant and career training offerings will make impactful changes in both the program recipients and the communities they serve. It is an honor to be able to serve our military members and their families.”

AIME implemented Spark with the idea of growing the independent mortgage broker channel beyond 25% in 2021. Officials said recipients of the Spark small-business grant will be assigned a mentor from AIME’s broker community to have a seasoned colleague in the field to seek advice from. 

Grant recipients will receive one year of AIME membership and access to the AIME Leadership Academy.

With three programs now under the Spark umbrella – aptly named Minorities in Mortgage, Women in Mortgage, and the aforementioned Military in Mortgage – AIME is hoping to expand the perspectives of the mortgage industry to reflect the homebuyers of today and into the future. 

Home Point Financial announced in September that it was donating $1 million in grant money to Spark, with Sweeney noting that the donation will go a long way in helping minority and female broker owners build businesses.

“We’ve seen incredible growth in the broker community since AIME started a few years ago, and we want to continue the momentum by supporting a more diverse and inclusive landscape,” Sweeney said. 

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