At NewFed Mortgage, our journey has been defined by a shared commitment to people – the people on our team and the people in our communities. We’ve served, partnered with, and represented diverse communities for over two decades. Though we’ve always considered ourselves a diverse mortgage lender, we recognize that there is more work to be done to level the housing playing field.
Housing is essential to people’s lives, impacting their well-being, financial stability, and opportunities. Yet, historically, access to housing has not been equally accessible for all demographics.
Minority groups, including Black, Hispanic, and other underrepresented communities, have faced systemic barriers to accessing financial education, fair lending opportunities, and homeownership. Studies have shown disparities in mortgage approval rates and access to affordable housing, highlighting the pressing need for a more inclusive approach within the industry.
As we step into a new year, we’re intensifying our dedication to addressing this need by introducing a pivotal new role to our leadership team: a National Diversity Lending Manager. Rae Saldana, a long-time mortgage professional out of San Antonio, Texas, will fill this role, and we couldn’t be more excited about what she brings to the NewFed team.
Rae brings more than 40 years of mortgage experience and a collective 60 years of community involvement/diversity work. In those 60 years, she has closely worked with the Pan American League, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club, and NAHREP (the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals). Her support for minorities and drive to uplift those in her community are reflected in these years of steadfast service.
Pioneering Progress Through Diversity
Diversity isn’t merely a concept at NewFed Mortgage; it’s the cornerstone of our identity. We understand that to truly serve the communities we operate in, our workforce needs to reflect those in the communities. Rae Saldana will spearhead our expansion into new regions, ensuring that we not only grow but do so by identifying and addressing areas where minorities may face barriers to fair lending opportunities.
“When it comes to fair lending, it’s important to make sure that all individuals have access to credit without discriminatory practices,” shares Rae Saldana. “As a mortgage lender, we have to make sure that lending practices are fair for everyone regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender or socioeconomic status.”
Numbers That Reflect Our Commitment
Our statistics speak volumes about our dedication to diversity and inclusion. More than 20% of our mortgage applications from the last two years stem from Hispanic buyers, while over 50% come from minorities. These figures underscore our ongoing efforts to engage and serve diverse populations, ensuring everyone has an equal chance at homeownership.
Diversity at the Core of Leadership
Leadership sets the tone for inclusivity, and at NewFed Mortgage, we take pride in our diverse leadership team. Our executive team is a testament to equality, split evenly between men and women, fostering an environment where everyone’s voice is heard and valued.
“With Rae’s guidance,” adds NewFed President Jim Janczy, “NewFed Mortgage will continue to grow as a diverse and inclusive lender that reflects the communities we serve. It’s our mission to provide accessible and personalized mortgage solutions that empower individuals and families to achieve their dream of homeownership. We couldn’t imagine a better fit for this role.”
Embracing Diversity Across Our Workforce
Diversity isn’t confined to our leadership; it permeates throughout our entire organization. Nearly 50% of our staff proudly identify with a minority group, fostering a vibrant and inclusive workplace where different perspectives are encouraged and celebrated.
We understand that a diverse team brings a wealth of unique perspectives, enriching our company culture and enhancing our ability to understand and meet the diverse needs of our clients.
Focused on Expansion
“Getting involved with community organizations is one of the best ways to attract and recruit diverse candidates. That’s how I met Jim,” explains Rae. “He attended NAHREP’s national conference, and here I am today with NewFed. It’s one thing to talk about being a local, community-focused lender – it’s another thing entirely to be about it. The most successful recruitment strategies focus on genuine connection-building; more ‘tell me how you got started and what your goals are,’ less ‘join us and let’s get to work.‘”
“I agree,” adds National VP of Business Development Patrick Wheeler. “When focused on community involvement and genuine relationship building, you find the best people to add to your team. And with the spring homebuying season right around the corner, there’s really no better time for mortgage professionals to consider a move. I’m looking forward to working with Rae.”
A Future Shaped by Inclusion
At NewFed Mortgage, diversity isn’t an initiative; it’s our ethos. We’re committed to nurturing an environment where every individual feels empowered and where our services resonate with the unique needs of every community we serve.
The introduction of the National Diversity Lending Manager is a testament to our pledge to break barriers and ensure fair opportunities for all.
As we embark on this journey into the future, we invite you to join us. Together, we’ll forge a path where every homebuyer feels empowered every step of the way, at every stage of their life.