Smart Borrower Blog

Auto Loans Growth Remains Strong As Mortgage Debt Drops Off

Aug 20th, 2014 @ 8:04 PM by Amber Nelson

Total household debt fell slightly in the second quarter, according to the latest report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, as Americans pulled back on mortgage debt. “A slight decline in real estate-related balances, consistent with broader housing market developments, contributed to a flat quarter for total outstanding household debt,” said Donghoon Lee, senior economist at the New York Fed. “Meanwhile, we observe continued strength in the auto loan market with the largest volume of originations since 2006.” In the second quarter, mortgage debt fell $69 billion from the first quarter, although it is up $255 billion from... Read full article »

Small Business Lending Dips While Delinquencies Rise

Aug 13th, 2014 @ 7:47 PM by Amber Nelson

For the second month in a row, small U.S. businesses cut back on their borrowing in June, according to new data from PayNet, and at the same time delinquencies on small business loans rose to the highest level in a year. The Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index, which draws on information from more than 250 leading U.S. lenders, registered a monthly decrease to 120.6 in June, down from May’s 125.4 reading. The good news, however, is that compared with a year ago the index is up 15 percent, the fourth month of yearly increases. Small company owners are more willing... more »

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

Report: Student Loan Debt Will Not Cause Mortgage Meltdown-Type Crisis

Aug 6th, 2014 @ 7:53 PM by Amber Nelson

Student loan debt has been growing at a troublingly high rate over the past seven years, a trend that has student advocates asking Congress to act to prevent another economy-wide financial crisis like the housing market crash that led to the Great Recession. Yet a new report from The Vanguard Group says the potential problems that escalating student debt could cause are not at all likely to have the same devastating effects as the mortgage meltdown. “The growth of student loans is quite important, and in some sense, if anything, that’s the only similarity to the mortgage crisis,” says Roger... more »

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

HAMP Applications Face Major Backlog

Jul 30th, 2014 @ 7:37 PM by Amber Nelson

For those still hoping to get a mortgage modification under the Obama administration’s Home Affordable Mortgage Program (HAMP), the wait may now be longer than ever. A new report from government regulators found that mortgage companies have not been able to process applications fast enough. The report from the special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) stated that as of the end of May there were more than 221,000 HARP applications still waiting to be processed. That’s a big jump in the backlog from the previous six months when there were 133,649 applications in the queue. The... more »

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

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... more »

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

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.