Smart Borrower Blog

6.8 Million Former Homeowners Unlikely to Buy Again

Apr 22nd, 2015 @ 2:56 PM by Amber Nelson

Only a quarter of those who lost their homes in the wake of the mortgage meltdown are likely to become homeowners again, according to recent data from the National Association of Realtors. Since the housing bubble burst in 2006, there have been almost 9.3 million homeowners who experienced a foreclosure, short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. Those who lost their homes at the beginning of the housing crash are now passing the seven-year waiting period required in order to get government-back mortgages. The NAR found that roughly one million borrowers have re-entered the market and it estimates that another 1.5... Read full article »

One-Third of Millenials Still Don’t Have A Credit Card

Apr 15th, 2015 @ 7:44 PM by Amber Nelson

The youngest generation of adults is less dependent on credit cards than their predecessors, according to a new survey by CreditCards.com, but whether that is by choice or circumstance is unclear. The survey found that more than a third – 36 percent – of those between the ages of 18 and 29 have never had a credit card. There are several reasons for that huge segmentof consumers without plastic in their wallets. First of all, Millenials experienced the Great Recession early in their financial lives and may have been scared away from taking on any extra debt. “With Millennials, we... more »

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

Credit Unions Ramp Up Auto Lending

Apr 8th, 2015 @ 8:45 PM by Amber Nelson

An improving economy and jobs market is spurring credit unions nationwide to devote more resources to auto loans, according to data from financial information firm Sageworks. The increase means car loan rate will remain competitive among all lenders for buyers in the new few months. During the third quarter of 2014, U.S. credit unions held a total of $225 billion in new and used car loans, a 16 percent jump from the year before when loans totaled $193 billion and a 30 percent leap from the same quarter of 2012. Two years ago, credit unions total auto loans amounted to... more »

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

Student Loan Strike Gains Ground With Government

Apr 1st, 2015 @ 8:10 PM by Amber Nelson

A month after 15 former students formally refused to pay their federal loans, their “debt strike” has attracted 85 more people and the attention of the U.S. government. The strikers are all current and former students of the Corinthian College network which includes Evertest Institute, Wyotech and Heald College. After a wave of accusations about its high rate of loan defaults, deceptive marketing practices, falsified data on graduation rates and questionable academic programs, Corinthian’s access to federal funds was retracted last year. As a result, many of its schools were sold or closed. The striking students from Corinthian schools have... more »

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

Mortgage Rates Tumble to 6-Week Low

Mar 26th, 2015 @ 7:26 AM by Amber Nelson

The Federal Reserve eased the minds of investors enough last week that mortgage interest rates fell down to a six-week low, according to home loan guarantor Freddie Mac . During the week ended March 26, 2015 the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to 3.69 percent, excluding fees, down from 3.78 percent the week before. A year earlier, the rate was much higher at 4.40 percent. The 15-year fixed rate mortgage also sank this week, falling to 2.97 percent, from 3.06 percent a week ago. Compared with last year the rate is down almost a half percentage point... more »

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

Big Banks Continue to Loosen Credit for Small Business Loans

Mar 18th, 2015 @ 10:26 PM by Amber Nelson

Small businesses are finding more and more success getting loans with large banks while smaller lenders are finding it harder to keep up, a sign of big banks’ ability to keep pace with changing technology. The Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index reported that big banks approved 21.5 percent of all small business loan applications in February, a new record high since the Great Recession. That’s up from the previous high of 21.3 percent in January. Compared with a year earlier, the loan approval rate is up 12.5 percent. February also marks the eleventh of twelve months of loan approval rate... more »

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

Credit Card Debt Dangerously Close to ‘Unsustainable’ Level

Mar 11th, 2015 @ 8:32 PM by Amber Nelson

Americans added $57 billion to their credit card debt in 2014, according to credit card data company CardHub, a 47 percent increase from the year before, with average consumer balances quickly approaching a level that was ‘unsustainable’ during the Great Recession. Total consumer credit card debt rose to almost $180 billion last year, with debt rising on a year-over-year basis for the past six quarters. The average household credit card balance grew to $7,200 by the fourth quarter of 2014, very near the $8,300 average from 2008 as the financial crisis got underway. That was identified by CardHub as an... more »

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

Longer Auto Loans Raise Red Flags

Mar 4th, 2015 @ 8:50 PM by Amber Nelson

The average length of a new car loan is getting longer and longer, but that might not be a good thing. According to car research site Edmunds.com, new car loans now average a length of 67.2 months – roughly five-and-a-half years – reaching an all-time high. The historical average is closer to 4 years. American car buyers are attracted to these longer loans – some can even be stretched out to eight years – because they can significantly lower the monthly payments allowing borrowers the chance to buyer nicer and newer cars. For example, a $30,000 new car loan with... more »

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

U.S. Auto Loan Balance Reaches All-time High

Feb 25th, 2015 @ 8:16 PM by Amber Nelson

Americans collectively owe more on new and used car loans now than ever before, according to the latest report from Experian Automotive, but delinquencies have remained low as consumers have managed their payments well. The Experian State of the Automotive Finance Market report found that the total auto loan balance for new and used vehicles rose to a record high of $866 billion in the fourth quarter of 2014. That increase was fueled fairly evenly across all risk-tiers of borrowers. The number of loans made to the most credit-worthy consumers – those with credit scores between 781 and 850 –... more »

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

Rising Student Loan Debt Keeps Recovery in Slow Motion

Feb 18th, 2015 @ 9:10 PM by Amber Nelson

Although Americans are managing almost all other debt better these days, student loan debt is a major exception, according to a recent report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. During the last quarter of 2014, 11.3 percent of student loans were delinquent, up from 11.1 percent the previous quarter. At the same time, mortgage debt and credit card debt experienced decreases in their delinquency rates. Auto loans posted an increase in delinquencies, but at 3.5 percent, student loan debt still poses a bigger threat to the overall economy. “Although we’ve seen an overall improvement in delinquency rates since... more »

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

2014 Mortgage Foreclosures Sunk 15%

Feb 11th, 2015 @ 3:44 PM by Amber Nelson

Completed foreclosures on U.S. properties fell 14.9 percent in the 12 months ended December 2014, according to foreclosure data firm CoreLogic, dropping to 563,294 foreclosures, hitting the lowest point since December 2007. For just the month of December, there were 39,000 completed foreclosure, down 13.7 percent from December 2013’s 46,000 foreclosures. That’s is also down 66 percent from the mortgage meltdown peak from September 2010. “In 2014, the annual sum of completed foreclosures declined 15% from the 662,000 reported in 2013,” said CoreLogic deputy chief economist Sam Khater, putting the numbers into perspective. “Completed foreclosures last year were less than... more »

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