Smart Borrower Blog

Is There A New Subprime Bubble In Auto Lending?

Jul 23rd, 2014 @ 7:43 PM by Amber Nelson

About 25 percent of all new car loans made in 2014 were issued to borrowers with subprime credit – those with scores below 640 – and investors are eating up subprime-backed auto securities. This has some analysts wondering if the next financial bubble has arrived in the form of poor-credit car loans. Subprime auto loan volume jumped roughly 15 percent in the first quarter of this year compared with the first quarter of 2013, rising to $145.6 billion, according to credit rating company Experian. The New York Times reported that these loans can come with interest rates in the range... Read full article »

Consumers Change the Way They Use Credit Cards

Jul 16th, 2014 @ 3:13 PM by Amber Nelson

Americans have made a significant shift in the way they view and use their credit cards, according to the latest report from the American Bankers Association. The ABA found that bank card delinquencies fell in the first quarter back to lows from more than two decades ago. Late payments – those behind by 30 days or more – on bank cards dropped to 2.44 percent of all accounts, down from 2.60 percent in the previous quarter. The rate is just higher than the 2.41 percent from the first quarter of last year, and the last time rates were that low... more »

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

Small Business Loan Approval Reaches Post-Recession Peak

Jul 9th, 2014 @ 8:09 PM by Amber Nelson

Small business owners today are seeing more success in obtaining loans than they have in the past five years, according to new data from Biz2Credit.com, with loan approvals reaching their highest rate since the financial crisis began. The Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index, a measure of 1,000 loan applications submitted on the website, rose in June showing that one out of five or 20 percent of small business loans were approved by big banks, up from 19.6 percent in May. The approval rate by small banks fell slightly by 0.2 percent, but the overall approval rate is still more than... more »

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

Student Loan Interest Rates Reset Higher

Jul 2nd, 2014 @ 8:23 PM by Amber Nelson

As of July 1, federal student loans will have a higher interest rate this year than they did in the 2013-2014 school year. While rising fees are never welcome news for students, the silver lining is that they are not rising as high as they could have. The new effective rate on all new federal Stafford student loans will be 4.66 percent for the 2014-2015 school year, up from 3.86 percent last year. Without Congress’ quick passage of the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013, the interest rates would have doubled this year to 6.8 percent. While the new... more »

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

Are Americans Already Forgetting the Lessons of the Recession?

Jun 25th, 2014 @ 8:17 PM by Amber Nelson

It has only been five years since the end of the Great Recession, a period of great financial struggle for many Americans, and yet the latest data on credit card use indicates that the memories of those days are starting to fade for many consumers. According to a new survey from credit card data tracker CardHub.com, Americans paid down $32.5 billion in credit card debt during the 2014 first quarter, a 1 percent decline from the first quarter of 2013.The first quarter is typically when consumers pay off the biggest chunk of debt, as they pay down their holiday spending... more »

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

Foreclosure Filings Down 26 Percent from Last Year

Jun 18th, 2014 @ 7:46 PM by Amber Nelson

Housing market fundamentals showed more strength in May, according to foreclosure data firm RealtyTrac, as mortgage foreclosure filings fell significantly from the previous year. In its U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, RealtyTrac found that U.S. foreclosure filings – including default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions – fell to 109,824 in May, down 5 percent from April and down 26 percent from the year before. It is now at the lowest level in over seven years, since December 2006 and the national foreclosure rate has fallen to one in every 1,199 households. Of course, the improvements were not uniform across the... more »

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

Americans Take on Record Levels of Auto Debt

Jun 11th, 2014 @ 7:05 PM by Amber Nelson

U.S. consumers are financing car purchases at the highest levels on record, according to new data from Experian Automotive, and they are stretching their loan terms well past five years in order to afford those loans. The Experian Automotive State of the Automotive Finance Market report found that the average amount financed by Americans for a new car loan climbed to $27,612 in the first quarter of 2014, an all-time high since data was first reported in 2006. That’s up $964 from the 2013 first quarter. The higher price tags have resulted in much higher monthly payments as well. The... more »

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

Business Borrowing Makes Hopeful Gain in April

Jun 4th, 2014 @ 2:01 PM by Amber Nelson

U.S. small businesses took out more loans in April, according to the latest Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index (SBLI), a positive indication that GDP will see greater growth by the end of the year. The SBLI rose to 126.5 in April, a seven year high and up 10 percent from March’s upwardly revised 115.3. Compared with April 2013, small business borrowing has jumped 18 percent. The amount of small business investment in their own companies is typically a good indicator for GDP two to five months down the road. It shows that businesses have plans to increase production or services... more »

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

Mortgage Delinquencies Fall for 9th Straight Quarter

May 28th, 2014 @ 7:23 PM by Amber Nelson

The percentage of U.S. homeowners behind on their mortgages fell in the first quarter of this year, creating a nine quarter streak of declining delinquency rates, a sign that the mortgage market has shaped up since the housing bubble burst. The national mortgage delinquency rate – the percentage of borrowers who are 60 days or more late on their loans – fell to 3.61 percent at the end of the 2014 first quarter, according to data from credit reporting agency TransUnion, down from 3.81 percent the previous quarter and down 24 percent from the year before when it was still... more »

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

U.S. Consumers Have Increased Auto Loan Debt for 3 Straight Years

May 21st, 2014 @ 7:47 PM by Amber Nelson

Americans are taking on more car debt, as they have been consistently for the past three years, according to a new report from TransUnion, an encouraging sign that the auto loan industry has recovered from the Great Recession. The average amount of auto loan debt per borrower rose 4.1 percent in the first quarter of this year to $16,862, up from $16,191 a year earlier. It also increased compared to the $16,769 average during the 2013 fourth quarter. The average auto loan debt per borrower has jumped almost 13 percent since the trend began in the first quarter of 2011.... 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 and Delinquencies Decline in 2014 Q1

May 14th, 2014 @ 12:31 PM by Amber Nelson

U.S. consumers held less credit card debt in the first quarter of 2014 that the previous year, while simultaneously making more timely payments, a development analysts assert is a sign of a stronger economy. According to credit collecting bureau TransUnion, the average debt per borrower fell to $5,164 in the 2014 first quarter, down from $5,325 in the fourth quarter of 2013 and $5,201 one year earlier. At the same time, the delinquency rate – credit loans that are 09 days or more behind on their payments- fell to 1.37 percent in the first quarter, down from 1.48 percent the... more »

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