Guaranteed Rate expands its Community Engagement Initiative

The lender is also focusing on retention of a diverse employee base

Chicago-based mortgage lender Guaranteed Rate rolled out the second wave of its Community Engagement Initiative, the company announced on Monday. Launched in 2023, the program aims to improve funded loan volumes in underserved communities nationwide. 

“Traditional lending practices have overlooked Black and Latino communities, as well as low to moderate-income areas,” Camilo Escalante, executive director of diverse segments at Guaranteed Rate, said in a statement. “The Community Engagement Initiative blazes new trails with dedicated focus, specific budgets, and targeted partnerships in these communities.”

During the initiative’s first phase, Guaranteed Rate added new loan products, improved training efforts for processors and underwriters, and established strategic partnerships to expand the company’s presence in underserved markets. This first phase also included a  Language Access Program and an inaugural Black Leadership Symposium. 

Guaranteed Rate offers the opportunity to access the entire mortgage process — including application, document processing, and touch points throughout the loan funding cycle — in Spanish.  

In the second phase of the initiative, Guaranteed Rate will focus on diverse employee retention.

“It is crucial for building community ties and strengthening our leadership in serving low-and-moderate income markets and underserved markets,” Escalante said. “We will also continue to expand our educational resources for borrowers.”

Among other projects, the second phase features the launch of RateUniversity, a community outreach effort in both English and Spanish that is designed to promote financial education in large metro areas. 

From 2019 to today, the company reported that the racial diversity in its sales force grew from 16% to 23%. At the same time, its percentage of funded loans to diverse borrowers rose from 12% to 29.6%.

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