Smart Borrower Blog

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 –... Read full article »

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.

Small Businesses Ramped Up Borrowing in December

Feb 4th, 2015 @ 5:28 PM by Amber Nelson

U.S. small businesses borrowed more from lenders in December, according to data from business credit information firm PayNet, a result of the improving economy at home and the dramatic drop in oil prices. The Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index rose 10 percent in December 2014 to a reading of 129.8, from 117.6 in November. The index is also up 6 percent from 122.6 one year earlier. The current Index level is near the record high of 132.0 from October 2014. By comparison, the index was benchmarked at 100 in January 2005 when it began. It hit a high of... more »

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

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... more »

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

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.