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Tag Archives: Credit Standards

Housing Mixed in Largely Positive Beige Book

The Federal Reserve reported continued growth in economic activity through the United States over the past month, reinforcing recent reports that the economy is moving in a more positive direction after a dismal first quarter. Reports on real estate activity were mixed across the country, though low inventory and rising home prices were common themes in most districts.

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Loan Closing Share, Credit Profiles Tick Up in May

Drawing from a sampling of mortgage applications from its network, Ellie Mae calculated an overall loan closing rate of 57.8 percent, a bounce up from 55 percent in April. The figure represents applications initiated 90 days prior "[t]o get a meaningful view of lender pull-through," the company said. Of those closed loans, two-thirds were for home purchases, the highest share on record.

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Mortgage Credit Availability Increases in May

The Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI), a monthly gauge of credit access based on metrics and underwriting criteria from more than 85 lenders, increased 1.14 percent from April to May, reading 115.1 in the latest measure. According to the group, May's gain came "partially as a result of a slight increase in the availability of jumbo loans."

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Borrowers’ Financial Health Declines as LTVs Rise

In its most recent quarterly report, LendingTree recorded a Borrower Health Score of 77.7 in the year's opening months, a decline of 4.5 points from the prior quarter. While the latest drop illustrates Americans still have some ground to make up from the financial crash, Q1's score is still 1.3 points above where it was a year ago, implying "a broader trend of improving borrower qualification levels," the company says.

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Purchase Market Grows; Loans Take Less Time to Close

Purchase loans made up 63 percent of originations in April, up from 60 percent a month earlier and significantly higher than last year, according to the latest report from Ellie Mae. Jonathan Corr, Ellie Mae's president and COO, noted it was the highest share of purchase loans the company has recorded since it began reporting data in August 2011.

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Non-Prime Loan Share on the Rise

Looking back a quarter, TransUnion says new account originations in Q4 2013 totaled just 1.39 million, down by nearly a million from Q4 2012. While overall new loan activity was slow, participation increased among the non-prime population—defined by TransUnion as those with a credit score lower than 700 on the company’s VantageScore 2.0 model.

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Fed Survey: Prime Loan Standards Mostly Unmoved

A newly released survey of senior loan officers around the country finds credit standards remained largely the same on basic prime mortgage products over the latest quarter, while demand came in weaker. On the topic of subprime loans: On net, the handful of banks offering such products reported tightening, though more than half still said standards changed little.

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Is Credit Really Loosening? Maybe Not

In a blog post published late last week, Urban Institute’s researchers assert, “A market composition change—not lower lending standards—explains the decrease in average credit scores for conventional and FHA [Federal Housing Administration] mortgages. “Despite rising home prices and gradual housing recovery, the mortgage lending rules have remained tight, inhibiting housing demand and economic growth,” they continue.

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Survey: Fear of Rejection Freezing Potential Homebuyers

According to survey results released Tuesday by independent home lender loanDepot, 56 percent of Americans who don’t currently own a home but would like to purchase in the near future say they’re not pursuing it right now “because they fear they won’t qualify for a loan.” Among current homeowners who wish to re-enter the market, 30 percent hold the same fear.

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Closing Rate Up on March Loans; Time to Close Down

Lenders closed on a greater share of mortgages last month compared to February—and they did it at a faster pace, according to mortgage software provider Ellie Mae. The company’s latest Origination Insight Report, released this week, shows that out of a sampling of loan applications initiated 90 days prior to March, 58 percent closed last month. That rate is up from 55.3 percent in February and from the 2013 average of 54 percent.

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