Smart Borrower Blog

Student Loan Defaults Could Reach 40% by 2023

Nov 7th, 2018 @ 11:22 AM by Amber Nelson

U.S. student loan borrowers are defaulting at such a steep rate that on the current trajectory as many as 40% of all borrowers could be in default within the next five years, according to a report from the Urban Institute. Student loans now make up the second-largest consumer debt category. Today there are more than […]

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Nervous Investors Push Mortgage Rates Down

Nov 1st, 2018 @ 8:12 AM by Amber Nelson

Average rates on long-term mortgage loans fell in the latest week, dampened by investors’ flight to the safety of bonds after the recent stock market declines. According to mortgage guarantor Freddie Mac, the average rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage (FRM) dropped to 4.83 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week of […]

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

1/3 of Americans Use Credit Cards for Home Renovations

Oct 26th, 2018 @ 3:38 PM by Amber Nelson

Even though Americans now have more home equity collectively than ever before, very few are tapping into that equity to pay for their home renovations, with more than a third charging their home expenses to a credit card. According to a study conducted by web site Houzz and Synchrony Financial, 36.4% of all renovation purchases […]

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

Average Credit Scores Hit Record High

Oct 17th, 2018 @ 9:24 PM by Amber Nelson

Americans are figuring out how to manage their credit, it would seem. New data from Fair Isaac & Co. (FICO) shows that the average FICO score rose this year to an all-time of 704, up 4 points from 2018. The average score has risen for the past 8 straight years, climbing from a low of […]

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

Mortgage Rates Top 5%, Loan Applications Slip

Oct 10th, 2018 @ 8:40 PM by Amber Nelson

As long-term U.S. mortgage interest rates rose to their highest level in over 7 years, fewer potential buyers and refinance borrowers applied for home loans this week, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association. The average rate on a conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage jumped to 5.05%, with 0.51 points, up from 4.96% and 0.49 […]

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

Business Borrowing for Equipment Rose 14% in August

Oct 4th, 2018 @ 8:50 PM by Amber Nelson

U.S. companies borrowed more for capital investments in August from the year before, according to the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA), a continued sign that business confidence in the economy continues to grow. Businesses financed $8.9 billion in new equipment loans, leases and lines of credit in August, up 14% from a year ago, […]

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

Homeowner Equity Tops All-Time High

Sep 25th, 2018 @ 9:04 PM by Amber Nelson

U.S. homeowners collectively experienced a historic milestone in the 2018 second quarter – total ‘tappable’ home equity grew to a record high, according to Black Knight Inc. Black Knight’s Mortgage Monitor Report found that U.S. tappable equity jumped up to $6 trillion, a gain of $636 billion since the beginning of 2018 and triple the amount […]

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

Top 5 Best and Worst States at Managing Debt

Sep 19th, 2018 @ 9:57 PM by Amber Nelson

Researchers have found a wide spread between the states where residents pay off their debts well versus those that don’t. Financial website Credible conducted a survey of over 540,000 borrowers from across all 50 U.S. states and found that credit card bills and student loans along with high housing costs are what keep many Americans from […]

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

Refinance Volume Falls to 18-Year Low

Sep 12th, 2018 @ 9:06 PM by Amber Nelson

Fewer Americans applied for refinance loans in the latest week, as U.S. mortgage interest rates rose to a 5-week high, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. In fact, that jump in rates was enough to push refinance application volume to its lowest point in 18 years. “As mortgage rates increased to a five-week high, the […]

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

The Student Loan Programs That Backfired

Sep 5th, 2018 @ 8:38 PM by Amber Nelson

Student loan debt continues to stack up even though there are fewer and fewer people applying for those loans. Student loan applications have plunged 20% over the past six years, while total student debt has skyrocketed by $500 billion in that time to an all-time high of $1.5 trillion. What is going on? Two government […]

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

Auto Loan Borrowers Turn to Refinancing for Savings

Aug 29th, 2018 @ 1:54 PM by Amber Nelson

New data from credit reporting bureau TransUnion shows that millions of U.S. car loan borrowers have turned to auto refinancing over the past several years to save money, with many refinancing even just a day or two after obtaining their original loan. A recent TransUnion study reported that 1.5 million borrowers have since refinanced their […]

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