More buyers qualify for subprime loans

NEW YORK – Oct. 22, 2015 – “Subprime.” The word holds dramatically different meanings.
Before the housing crisis, the term generally referred to mortgages made to borrowers who didn’t have to prove much – if anything – about their income or financial stability.

Now, the “subprime” mortgages, which the credit bureau Equifax recently reported increased 30.5 percent in the first five months of 2015 from the same period a year earlier, are simply defined as loans to borrowers with a credit score below 620 (the FICO score used in mortgage lending ranges from 300 to 850).

Even though the number of subprime loans jumped by about one-third, they represent just a tiny slice of the mortgage market. Of the 3.26 million mortgages Equifax studied, only 4.6 percent were subprime, growing from less than 4 percent.

Still, the increase means “some lenders will work with a low-score borrower,” notes Keith Gumbinger of HSH.com, a mortgage data firm.

Even government-back Federal Housing Administration mortgages, which before the housing crisis were more forgiving, essentially disappeared for the credit-blemished, says Brian Chappelle of mortgage advisory firm Potomac Partners.

Recently, government changes to the FHA aimed to boost loans to those with scores under 640, says Chappelle. Lenders are still leery, though. “Ask a Realtor if they know of lenders, search the Internet, make calls,” says Chappelle.

In many instances, an FHA mortgage will be more economical because lenders don’t charge a higher interest rate for low scores on these, says Gumbinger. Borrowers can browse a list of FHA lenders at hud.gov.

The business is inching toward a “new normal,” notes Chappelle, finding the middle ground between overly liberal and excessively stringent rules. In the meantime, a low-score borrower has to be prepared for rejection.

“Some will say, ‘Thanks for calling, but we can’t help you,'” concludes Gumbinger.

Copyright © 2015 The Hub, Marilyn Kennedy. All rights reserved, CTW Features.  

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Changes coming to Fannie’s credit history analysis

WASHINGTON – Oct. 22, 2015 – Fannie Mae is enhancing its automated underwriting system to improve the analysis of credit histories and the use of nontraditional credit.
Loans underwritten on Desktop Underwriter (DU) will require the utilization of trended credit data provided by Equifax and TransUnion.
According to the secondary lender, by using trended data, a more intelligent and thorough analysis of the borrower’s credit history will be enabled.
Fannie announced the planned update on Monday.
The Washington-based company explained that credit reports currently used in mortgage lending only indicate the outstanding balance and whether a borrower has been on time or delinquent in paying existing accounts like credit cards, mortgages or student loans.
But trended data will indicate monthly payments made over time – enabling lenders to determine if revolving credit lines are paid off each month or if a balance is carried from month-to-month while making minimum or other payments.

Trended data requirements will be implemented around the middle of next year, while more details will be provided in the coming months.

DU is also being enhanced to more efficiently address borrowers without a traditional credit history. More information will be available in the coming months, and the functionality is expected to go live sometime next year.

One other change outlined in the announcement is the integration of The Work Number from Equifax into DU. As a result of the enhancement, which will also happen sometime next year, lenders won’t have to provide copies of pay stubs or other documents to verify income.

“In addition to efficiency for borrowers and lenders, this could reduce the frequency of mortgage fraud,” the notice said. “Going forward, Fannie Mae will determine if validation services can be offered for additional borrower data, such as bank statements, and additional income documents, such as tax returns.”

Copyright © 2015 Mortgage Daily. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.