Smart Borrower Blog

Big Banks Approving More Small Business Loans

Dec 17th, 2014 @ 4:55 PM by Amber Nelson

Small business owners found more success getting loans from the nation’s big banks in November than the previous month, according to new data from Biz2Credit, but small banks and alternative lenders actually approved fewer loan applications. The November 2014 Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index found that big banks approved 20.8 percent of all small business loan requests they received last month, a 0.4 percent increase from October. Although big bank approvals dipped in October, the overall trend has been toward looser lending for small businesses. Approval rates have risen among big banks for seven of the past eight months. Why... Read full article »

New Fannie, Freddie Rules Should Speed Housing Recovery

Dec 10th, 2014 @ 8:06 PM by Amber Nelson

It should be easier to get a home mortgage loan going forward now that mortgage guarantors Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have clarified their rules for lenders. After the mortgage meltdown several years ago, Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Act that included ambiguously worded regulations that made mortgage lenders pull back on loan originations. Specifically, that law made it difficult for lenders to know which loans would count as mortgages qualified to get government backing and when they would be in danger of having to buy back soured loans. Within the last few months Fannie and Freddie have finally clearly defined... more »

About Amber Nelson
Amber Nelson is a seasoned mortgage industry writer and a regular contributor to Loan.com and Mortgage101.com.

More Borrowers Enter the Credit Card Market As Delinquencies Remain Stable

Dec 3rd, 2014 @ 8:31 PM by Amber Nelson

New credit card customers are to thank for a large jump in outstanding credit card balances in the third quarter, according to the latest report from TransUnion, a sign that the economy is picking up greater momentum. Total outstanding credit card balances rose 4.3 percent in the third quarter from than same period in 2013 and represents the highest growth rate since the 2008 fourth quarter. Yet the average card debt per borrower remained almost unchanged, inching up to $5,249 in the third quarter from $5,239 the previous year. That means the increase was due to new card holders. And... more »

About Amber Nelson
Amber Nelson is a seasoned mortgage industry writer and a regular contributor to Loan.com and Mortgage101.com.

Auto Loan Debt Hits a Nine-Year High

Nov 26th, 2014 @ 11:16 PM by Amber Nelson

During the third quarter of this year, Americans borrowed more in car loans than they have in the past nine years, according to the latest quarterly Household Debt and Credit Report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, marking the 14th consecutive quarter of increases in U.S. auto loan balances. Total car loan originations topped $105 billion in the latest quarter, a $29 billion increase from the second quarter and a level not seen since before the Great Recession. Auto lenders have loosened their loan requirements over the past several years, as investors have created demand for auto-loan backed... more »

About Amber Nelson
Amber Nelson is a seasoned mortgage industry writer and a regular contributor to Loan.com and Mortgage101.com.

Freddie Mac: 2015 Holds a Brighter Future for the Mortgage Market

Nov 19th, 2014 @ 9:04 PM by Amber Nelson

The U.S. housing market will see improvements in home sales and starts in 2015 even as interest rates rise and refinancing falls off a cliff, according to mortgage finance giant Freddie Mac. Freddie Mac’s chief economist Frank Nothaft wrote in an “Executive Perspectives” forecast that he foresees a rosier picture for the housing and mortgage markets next year based on predictions that the overall economy will sustain a 3.0 percent growth rate, an impressive pace compared with most of the last decade. And while an improved economy will likely mean rising rates from the Federal Reserve, Nothaft said that “,... more »

About Amber Nelson
Amber Nelson is a seasoned mortgage industry writer and a regular contributor to Loan.com and Mortgage101.com.

One in Four College Students Expects to Have Loans Forgiven

Nov 12th, 2014 @ 9:50 PM by Amber Nelson

Nearly a quarter (24 percent) of all U.S. college students believe their student loan debt will eventually be forgiven, according to a new survey from Junior Achievement and PwC US. The “Millennials & College Planning”  findings did not reveal why student expect to have loans forgiven, but with the aid of government programs, it may be possible for one in four graduates to have some portion of their loans repaid for them. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says that a quarter of the U.S. workforce is eligible for the federal student loan forgiveness program. That includes those who work in... more »

About Amber Nelson
Amber Nelson is a seasoned mortgage industry writer and a regular contributor to Loan.com and Mortgage101.com.

Small Business Lending Hits Seven-and-a-Half Year High

Nov 5th, 2014 @ 8:22 PM by Amber Nelson

September saw small U.S. businesses increase their borrowing to the highest level since before the financial crash, according to the Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index , and a separate report says lenders expect to make even more such loans in 2015. The Index rose to a reading of 125.4, up 6 percent from 118.5 in August, the highest rank since March 2007. The index is up 13 percent from a year ago. The Small Business Lending Index is generally a good predictor of the U.S. GDP path 3 to 5 months in the future. “Wringing fear from the investor... more »

About Amber Nelson
Amber Nelson is a seasoned mortgage industry writer and a regular contributor to Loan.com and Mortgage101.com.

Rising Subprime Auto Delinquencies Causing Concern

Oct 29th, 2014 @ 7:37 PM by Amber Nelson

The success of the U.S. auto loan market over the past few years may have come at a cost, as loans made to subprime credit borrowers are failing at a much higher rate than expected. A new report from Citigroup Inc. reported that the delinquency rate for poor credit buyers rose 15 percent in the past year to 3.8 percent. Compared to the 0.4 percent delinquency rate of prime buyers, subprime rates are starting to alarm investors and government regulators. The losses from those delinquent loans are adding up as well. In the fourth quarter of 2013, banks charged-off an... more »

About Amber Nelson
Amber Nelson is a seasoned mortgage industry writer and a regular contributor to Loan.com and Mortgage101.com.

Looser Mortgage Credit Requirements Approved By Regulators

Oct 22nd, 2014 @ 7:47 PM by Amber Nelson

The desire to bring investors back into the mortgage bond market has outweighed the desire to make home loans safe from another housing bubble. U.S. mortgage regulators approved new rules Tuesday that would make it much easier for borrowers to get a mortgage, but could leave the market open to risks again. After the housing market crash in 2007, Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 that imposed all sorts of tougher restrictions on U.S. lenders, including mortgage lenders. In order to encourage bankers to make sound home loans, part of the Act required lenders to keep a small portion... more »

About Amber Nelson
Amber Nelson is a seasoned mortgage industry writer and a regular contributor to Loan.com and Mortgage101.com.

Lenders Target Good Credit Customers for Personal Loans

Oct 15th, 2014 @ 5:34 PM by Amber Nelson

Although they have been synonymous outrageously high interest rates in the past, unsecured personal loans are not being marketed toward those with highest credit scores as a way to consolidate debt, buy cars or even do some home improvements. Total personal loan originations have jumped up to $34.5 billion during the first half of 2014, an 8.7 percent increase from the year before, according to credit-reporting agency Equifax. That’s the largest increase in at least six years. Part of that increase has come from less traditional personal loan borrowers – those with stellar credit. Lenders are offering these customers lower... more »

About Amber Nelson
Amber Nelson is a seasoned mortgage industry writer and a regular contributor to Loan.com and Mortgage101.com.

Consumer Debt Delinquencies Fall To Record Lows

Oct 8th, 2014 @ 7:47 PM by Amber Nelson

Consumers did better with everything from credit cards to mortgages in the second quarter, according to a new report from the American Bankers Association, helping to push consumer delinquencies to an all-time record low. The ABA composite ratio, a measure of eight closed-end installment loan categories, fell to 1.57 percent in the second quarter, down from 1.63 percent in the first. That is a record low for that ratio and far below the 15-year average of 2.32 percent. “Strong job growth, rising income, low interest rates and falling debt levels have led to consumers having a greater capacity to repay... more »

About Amber Nelson
Amber Nelson is a seasoned mortgage industry writer and a regular contributor to Loan.com and Mortgage101.com.