Smart Borrower Blog

Consumer Credit Delinquencies Fell in Third Quarter

Jan 21st, 2015 @ 9:32 PM by Amber Nelson

U.S. consumers continued to keep up with their debt payments in the third quarter of 2014, according to data from the American Bankers Association’s Consumer Credit Delinquency Bulletin.  Delinquencies – payments that were late by 30 days or more – only rose in three of the 11 categories the ABA tracked, showing that Americans are largely paying down their debts and managing their finances better than before the financial crisis. “Strong economic growth has boosted job creation and supported income growth, which has made it easier for consumers to meet their financial obligations,” said James Chessen, ABA’s chief economist. “Lower... Read full article »

Mortgage Applications Volume Makes Highest Weekly Jump in 6 Years

Jan 14th, 2015 @ 8:42 PM by Amber Nelson

With mortgage interest rates tumbling again last week, mortgage applications poured in, resulting in the largest weekly increase since November 2008, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. During the week ended January 9, 2015, the number of mortgage applications, as measured by the Market Composite Index, rose 49.1 percent from the previous week, the fastest growth pace in over six years. The jump was led by a 66 percent increase in refinance loan applications and supported by a 24 percent rise in home purchase mortgage requests. The Refinance Index grew to a five-month high and the Purchase Index rose to... 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 Making Slow Recovery

Jan 7th, 2015 @ 9:19 PM by Amber Nelson

Small U.S. businesses are starting to borrow more, but are nowhere near their pre-recession levels, according to a new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, a sign that job creation may continue to be limited for some time. The Fed study found that even though the volume of small commercial and industrial loans increased 3.4 percent in the past year, the number small business loans – those under $1 million – are still 17 percent below their peak from 2008. The main reason for the lag in small business lending seems to be that credit standards were so... more »

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

Student Loan Debt Holding Back Entrepreneurship

Dec 31st, 2014 @ 2:49 PM by Amber Nelson

Rising student loan debt is affecting small business decisions among the nation’s younger population, according to data released last month by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy. Young entrepreneurs with student debt are less likely to start their own businesses, take out small business loans or even work in the field of their major, the study conducted by Brian Headd found. Student loan debt has risen to a median of $29,000 as of 2013, up from $12,000 in 1995. A full 20 percent of all families had educational debt as of 2013, up from 12 percent back in... more »

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

TransUnion Forecasts Higher Auto Loan Balances, Delinquencies in 2015

Dec 24th, 2014 @ 11:58 PM by Amber Nelson

Next year will be another good year for auto lending, according to predictions from credit agency TransUnion, with consumers borrowing more as the employment rate improves. TransUnion forecasts that the average auto debt per customer in the 2014 fourth quarter will pan out to be $17,480. If auto debt reaches that mark it will be the 19th straight quarter of year-over-year growth. For next year’s fourth quarter, TransUnion believes average auto debt will rise to $18,244, up 4 percent from this year’s predicted gain. “We expect the auto loan market to continue to perform exceptionally well in 2015, with more... more »

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

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... more »

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

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.