Smart Borrower Blog

Household Debt Hits Record High $14 Trillion

Feb 19th, 2020 @ 3:17 PM by Amber Nelson

Americans now owe a total of $14.15 trillion in household debt, according to the Federal Reserve, the highest level ever recorded. Household debt grew by $601 billion in 2019, at the fastest pace since 2007, right before the financial crisis. “Mortgage originations, including refinances, increased significantly in the final quarter of 2019, with auto loan […]

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Corona Virus Fears Fuels Mini-Refinance Boom

Feb 12th, 2020 @ 11:31 AM by Amber Nelson

Global fears about the Corona Virus have pushed mortgage interest rates lower, which in turn has inspired many homeowners to refinance, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Refinance applications rose 5% for the week ended February 7, 2020, and they increased an astonishing 207% compared with a year ago. During the same time, the average […]

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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.

Student Loan Debt Continues Record High Climb

Feb 5th, 2020 @ 10:56 AM by Amber Nelson

Total U.S. student loan debt has reached a new high of $1.56 trillion this year, according to data from the U.S. Department of Education. That debt load is spread out among 44.7 million borrowers, making for an average student loan debt of $32,731. College loan debt is now the second highest consumer debt category – […]

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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.

Car Loan Interest Rates Fall to 22-Month Low

Jan 29th, 2020 @ 11:32 AM by Amber Nelson

The average interest rate on a U.S. car loans fell to its lowest point since February 2018 in December, according to automotive data-tracking company Edmunds. At the same time, prices on new vehicles have reached near-record highs. The annual percentage rate (APR) for a new-vehicle loan slipped to 5.4% in December, down from 5.5% in […]

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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.

Housing Affordability Near 30 Year Highs

Jan 21st, 2020 @ 10:16 AM by Amber Nelson

Although rising home prices have led many to believe that buying a home is more expensive today, low mortgage interest rates and rising incomes have actually made homes more affordable now than almost any time in the past three decades, according to the National Association of Realtors. The NAR’s Housing Affordability Index rose to 163.5 […]

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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.

Credit Card Delinquencies Dip in 3rd Quarter

Jan 15th, 2020 @ 8:44 PM by Amber Nelson

American consumers did better at paying off their credit card debts in the 2019 third quarter, according to the American Bankers Association, but delinquencies rose on other loan categories like car loans and home equity loans. Delinquent credit card accounts made up just 2.96% in the third quarter, down from 2.98% and still well below […]

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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 Score up 2% From 2018

Jan 8th, 2020 @ 1:33 PM by Amber Nelson

Americans improved their credit scores in 2019, according to a new report from credit reporting agency Experian, a sign that consumers are handling their debt obligations better. Experian’s annual State of Credit report found that the average U.S. credit score increased 2 points to 682. And even as Americans take on slightly more debt, delinquency […]

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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.

Cash-Out Refinances Grew 28% Since 2018

Jan 1st, 2020 @ 7:16 PM by Amber Nelson

With home prices continuing to climb in the face of limited inventory, American homeowners have trillions of dollars in equity and they are taking advantage of it. According to real estate data firm Black Knight, cash-out refinance loans made up 52% of all refinance activity in the 2019 third quarter, up from just 24% a […]

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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 Hold Steady, But Likely to Fall in 2020

Dec 28th, 2019 @ 7:20 PM by Amber Nelson

Although long-term mortgage interest rates were unchanged in the latest week, experts are predicting rates to fall to record lows in 2020. The average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage slipped to 3.74% with 0.7 point in the week ended December 26, 2019, down from 3.75% the week before, according to data from Freddie Mac. […]

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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.

Small Business Loan Approvals Top Record Highs Again

Dec 18th, 2019 @ 9:53 PM by Amber Nelson

Big and small U.S. banks approved record numbers of small business loans in November, according to data from Biz2Credit, an indication of the continued strength of the economy. Last month, big banks ($10 billion+ in assets) approved 28.1% of all small business applications, up from the previous high of 28.0% in October. The small business […]

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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 Car Loan Amounts at New Record Highs

Dec 12th, 2019 @ 1:53 PM by Amber Nelson

Americans are paying more than ever before for new and used vehicles, according to Experian PLC, a result of pricier tech features in new cars. In the third quarter, the average amount for a new-vehicle loan jumped 5% in the past year to $32,480 while the average used-car loan rose 3% to $20,466. Total U.S. […]

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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.