Homeownership is a primary key to building wealth, but there is an alarming gap between Black homeowners and those who are white. Often, the underrepresented group doesn’t even have a fighting chance to successfully apply for a mortgage due to multiple factors such as little to no credit.
To level the playing field for Black people in America, Ashley D. Bell and Dr. Bernice A. King have joined forces in shaking up the traditional mortgage lending industry.
Gearing Up For Ready Life
The two leaders are set to launch Ready Life — a fintech platform that offers a new path to homeownership that excludes credit scores from eligibility requirements. If consumers use Ready Life’s mobile banking platform to pay their rent on time, they will have the opportunity to qualify for a mortgage.
After initially brainstorming on how they could play a role in making a difference together, the end result was a platform that intends to give people a fresh start and hope for the future of mortgage lenders, especially for the Black community.
“It goes back to the National Black Bank Foundation and our work to support Black-owned financial institutions. I think it’s just been a running conversation with Bernice and me about, ‘How can we do more?’ And I think her legacy as an individual leader in our city and around our country and world, focusing on the least, the last and the left behind has really empowered her to really step into this space. So, I’ve just been fortunate to have her leadership and friendship.”
He continued: “We thought about ‘What could be next?’ ‘How do we prepare for the future?’ Dealing with the current crisis with Black banks now, but also thinking about, ‘What does the Black bank of the future look like? What does lending look like in the future?’ This just seemed like a natural evolution of that journey of that discussion.”
What The Platform Is Set To Offer
Backed by Figure Technologies, Inc., Ready Life uses blockchain technology to support families, no matter their background, in buying their first home. Not only will the platform be a helping hand toward people becoming homeowners, but it is also going to educate them on the overall process.
As of now, Ready Life’s services include ReadyPay – VisaⓇ Debit Card, Ready Mortgage, and Ready Merchant.
An Extension Of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's Legacy
While homeownership aids in building generational wealth, starting the process early is just as important. With that said, Ready Life aims to help in decreasing the age of the average home buyer.
Ahead of its launch, Dr. King has vocalized that the platform is an extension of her father Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and his work. Toward the end of his journey, he was looking at how to build the economic standing of the Black community.
“A lot of people [probably] didn’t know that my parents rented until 1966,” Dr. King shared with AfroTech. “At that time, my father would have been about 36 years of age. So, this gives us an opportunity to ensure that coming out of college even young people can qualify to own a home because when you’re just coming out of college, you haven’t necessarily established your credit history.”
Dr. King added: “This is an opportunity to start off even on our platform and at the same time begin the process of building generational wealth. I think that’s so important.”
Check out the full interview on Blavity TV to learn more about how Ashley D. Bell and Dr. Bernice A. King are working to advance Black homeownership with their platform, which launches this fall.