"How We Stay Ahead of the Game? In Data We Trust."
How is data helping us anticipate new opportunities to support today's borrowers? Meet Single-Family Business Qualitative Analytics Manager and Senior Economist Jaya Dey.
Q. What is your role at Freddie Mac?
A. I joined Freddie Mac in 2015 to lead the market research team for Affordable Lending and Access to Credit. As a former economics professor, I was excited about all the different data arenas I could play in. My team's primary responsibility is to research housing issues with a focus on affordability. We look for trends that provide clues as to how we can help expand affordable distribution, responsibly provide access to credit and remove barriers to homeownership.
To socialize our work, I write research articles and present them on academic and nonacademic platforms. In collaboration with our partners, I share my research findings at events to inform and educate a wide range of housing stakeholders. We try to make our research digestible and actionable.
Q. How does your research support the business and the industry?
A. We support a variety of internal groups who use our research for outreach, new products and pilots with maximum impact. For example, we work with the borrower outreach team that manages our CreditSmart® program and our Borrower Help Centers, both of which provide potential homebuyers with financial education and other services to help them prepare for owning a home. Our research helps that team better understand the communities they serve. We also collaborate with the Duty to Serve team on various topics, such as understanding high-needs rural markets, first-time homebuyers' counseling experiences and energy-efficient markets.
Q. How does using data help us advance our mission?
A. Everyone deserves to have a safe and affordable place to call home. We use our data to help reveal barriers to homeownership and find the best way to combat those barriers.
For example, for low- to moderate-income borrowers living in high-cost areas, coming up with a down payment is a particularly constraining barrier. But 20% down may not be necessary, especially if they're a first-time homebuyer. So, a lack of knowledge is another barrier. In fact, there are a variety of low down payment options for today's borrower, some even as low as 3% for qualified homebuyers. If we can ease that burden by educating potential borrowers about their options, we are helping to make home possible.
Q. Has anything surprised you about the data you've seen?
A. Yes! People think that student loan debt is a huge barrier to homeownership. But the data reveals that only 10% of the population has student loan debt. Moreover, only 20% of millennials do, and only 4% of them have student loan debt above $45,000.
If you take a holistic view of what is driving homeownership — student loan debt, income, house prices, marital status, etc. — you find that student loan debt has a very small impact on the homeownership rate. This is a huge myth-buster for most people.
Q. Why is data important to our business?
A. Data isn't biased. It doesn't have any special agendas. It tells us where the pain points are and gives us a pretty accurate picture of what's going on in the market. When we let the data speak for itself and make decisions based on the data, we are leveraging our research to the best of our ability.
Connecting all the dots is hard work for the team, but we enjoy it!
Women Founders & CEOs Share Their Tips
If you're anxious about looking for a new job right now, you're not alone. We've talked before about how you can land a job in the midst of COVID-19, but today we wanted to share advice from some of the experts who spoke at our inaugural Diversity Reboot Summit.
If you're struggling with perfectionism:<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="824ce73e30a279a266a5dd91047dd6f5"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/y58Luzbv_vw?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p><em>Reshma Saujani is the Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, the international nonprofit organization working to close the gender gap in technology and change the image of what a computer programmer looks like and does. Since her viral TED Talk, "Teach Girls Bravery, Not Perfection" resonated worldwide, Reshma has been on a mission to inspire women to leave socially-ingrained perfectionism behind and rewire themselves for braver, bolder lives. Reshma talked with Zeryn Sarpangal, Chief Financial and People Officer, Code For America, about how women can work to be brave, not perfect, as they look for new opportunities. </em></p>
If you're looking to pivot into tech (and land a remote job):<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="80353e84513d2d043db309aaa94d457a"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZaPMxG_5C40?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p><em>Adda Birnir, CEO of Skillcrush, shares her tips for getting the skills you need to land a remote job, even if you don't have a tech background. Skillcrush is an online tech-education company that helps their women make a career change into tech. </em></p>
If you need an inside connection:<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="e38baadbe67361bff0eb4b95a5d2ade3"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/gjK8kjosZe8?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p><em>How will we connect with others professionally as social distancing continues? During this session, Kristy Wallace, CEO of Ellevate Network; Natasha Green, Sr. Local Communities Manager at AnitaB.org Initiative; and Dee Poku-Spalding, Founder and CEO of WIE (Women: Inspiration and Enterprise) share their expert networking advice with Organized SHIFT CEO Landi Spearman.</em></p>
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We're watching corporations and organizations across the world come out in support of Black lives in droves. Many of those organizations are doing so for the first time in their history.
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