Why Billionaire Businesswoman Patty Arvielo Says It’s Totally Okay to Fail


E! News: How did you start your career in the mortgage industry? 

Patty Arvielo: I was 16 and searching for a job that paid me the most per hour. I took a clerical data input job, and, a couple of years into it, I finally asked the people ordering the credit reports, “Why do you even need these?” They’re like, “We do mortgage loans.” They made more money than me, so I went to the Sunday paper, and I found a loan opener receptionist position.

By the time I was 19, a gentleman handed me a box of cards and said, “Ask realtors for loan referrals.” That was my first sales job…I failed terribly. By that time, I had a friend that sold loans and she was making a lot more money than me. I took the most entry-level position so I could get in. I was 24 years old and within the year, I worked my way up to an assistant vice president role…It was really chasing the almighty dollar, chasing the opportunity to gain expertise. I always saw myself making more money. It was hard work, but I found my passion early on.

E! News: Why is it important for you to focus on serving the Latinx and Black community?

PA: In the ’90s, I was working in Fountain Valley, Calif., which borders Santa Ana, and I wondered why the area was so much busier than mine. It was because Latinos were still buying homes. They were not rate-conscious, they just wanted the opportunity to get in. So, here I am in Santa Ana, I look non-Hispanic, non-Latina, but I started knocking on doors and dropping Spanish. We, as a culture, bind together and I got a lot of support from my community.

I’m one of the very few women that are specializing in lending to my demographic and the culture that I love so much. And there are some nuances in the way we spend our money in comparison to white people, so I find myself the expert in it. In my industry, I’m quite famous for being the Oprah of Hispanic lending and African American lending as well.

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