San Antonio, March 3 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — U.S. Representatives Charles
Gonzalez and Ciro Rodriguez joined U.S. Treasurer Rosario Marin, Freddie Mac
and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) today to
launch a national consumer credit education initiative to help prepare the
country’s fast-growing Hispanic communities for the financial
responsibilities of higher education and homeownership.

“The nation’s youngest and largest ethnic population also represents our
fastest-growing consumer group. This important new consumer credit education
curriculum, CreditSmart Espanol, is designed to provide our Hispanic
communities the best information available about how to achieve life-long
financial goals,” said United States Treasurer Rosario Marin.

CreditSmart Espanol, a bilingual financial literacy curriculum from Freddie
Mac, was introduced for the first time today at St. Mary’s University, where
68 percent of undergraduate students are Hispanic in a city with a
predominantly Hispanic population.

“CreditSmart Espanol is a resourceful bilingual tool that will empower
Hispanic students here in San Antonio and throughout the United States to
take charge of their financial lives and build better futures for themselves
and their families,” said Congressman Charles Gonzalez. “I congratulate
Freddie Mac, HACU, St. Mary’s University, and the participating national
Latino organizations for their hard work and innovative thinking. I look
forward to working with them to make CreditSmart Espanol a success.”

“CreditSmart Espanol is a great way to arm our students and communities with
financial information so that they can make informed decisions about
building and maintaining solid credit,” said Congressman Ciro Rodriguez, who
represents part of San Antonio and currently serves as chair of the
Congressional Hispanic Caucus. “Thanks to Freddie Mac, HACU, St. Mary’s
University, and their partners, more Hispanics will be prepared to own their
own homes and live the American dream.”

CreditSmart Espanol will be introduced later this year at HACU member
colleges and universities in California, New York, Florida, and Puerto Rico.
HACU represents more than 340 colleges and universities, which together
serve the largest concentrations of Hispanic higher education students in
the United States.

The CreditSmart Espanol courses at St. Mary’s University and the other HACU
institutions will be available to students, their families, and members of
the local community. The free classes will teach consumer credit and money
management skills, with an emphasis on preparing consumers for the financial
responsibilities of homeownership, paying for college, and achieving other
financial goals.

Freddie Mac was led to expand its trademarked CreditSmart program for U.S.
consumers to CreditSmart Espanol because historically, Hispanics have low
homeownership rates. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, while 68 percent
of the nation’s families own homes, less than 48 percent of Hispanic
families are homeowners.

“Freddie Mac is taking action to narrow the homeownership gap for Hispanic
families,” said Jim Park, Vice President of Industry Relations and Housing
Outreach at Freddie Mac. “CreditSmart Espanol will help students and their
families understand, build and maintain solid credit for their future, which
may include purchasing a home. We are delighted to work with Congressmen
Charles Gonzalez and Ciro Rodriguez, U.S. Treasurer Rosario Marin, HACU and
the other partners to increase minority homeownership.”

CreditSmart Espanol is a component of Catch the Dream, Freddie Mac’s
comprehensive plan to help achieve the Bush Administration’s goal of adding
5.5 million minority homeowners by the end of the decade.

“As the nation’s leading voice for Hispanic higher education, HACU is
delighted to join in this ambitious new initiative to offer financial skills
to our Hispanic students and their families. Thanks to the foresight and
leadership of Freddie Mac, our students have access to valuable information
that can lead to a more financially secure future,” said HACU President and
CEO Antonio Flores.

“As a founding member of HACU, St. Mary’s University has been a national
leader in education and service outreach to the larger Hispanic community,
as well as to students,” Flores said. “St. Mary’s University is an
outstanding role model for other HACU member colleges and universities that
will implement this program in coming months.”

“We’re excited to become the first HACU member higher education institution
to offer this valuable new learning opportunity to our students and their
families,” said St. Mary’s University President Charles Cotrell. “Providing
our students access to CreditSmart Espanol classes and materials will
complement our traditional curriculum and service mission to provide
students with the advanced knowledge and societal skills that will help them
to succeed as citizens, consumers, professionals and future leaders.”

HACU and Freddie Mac later this year will introduce CreditSmart Espanol at
Miami-Dade Community College’s Inter American Campus in Florida, at the
University of the Sacred Heart in Puerto Rico, at Hostos Community College
of the City University of New York and at California State University at

Today’s announcement is part of a larger, nationwide launch of CreditSmart
Espanol announced on December 10, 2002 with the Cuban American National
Council, League of United Latin American Citizens, National Association of
Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, National Council of La Raza, National
Puerto Rican Coalition and the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute.

For more information about CreditSmart Espanol workshops at St. Mary’s
University, please call Karlos Ramirez at (210) 431-6776, or send an e-mail
message to

Freddie Mac is a stockholder-owned corporation chartered by Congress to
provide a continuous flow of funds to mortgage lenders to sustain a stable
mortgage credit system, thereby reducing mortgage rates paid by U.S
homebuyers. Since its inception in 1970, Freddie Mac has opened doors for
one in six homebuyers and 2 million renters across America. For more
information, visit .

HACU, a non-profit, tax-exempt 501(c) (3) organization, is a national leader
in Hispanic education initiatives, including pre-collegiate outreach,
Hispanic higher education advocacy, international partnerships, lifelong
learning and workforce development initiatives, scholarship and internship
programs, and innovative education technology projects. For more
information, visit .

SOURCE Freddie Mac; HACU

/CONTACT: Rosario Mendez of HACU, +1-202-833-8361; or Deborah Hyman of
Freddie Mac, +1-703-989-3602; or Pat Abernathey of St. Mary’s,

/Web site:

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