Mortgage Rates Remain at Record Lows, But Who Can Qualify?

The average rate on long-term U.S mortgages stayed at the all-time, rock-bottom record low this past week, yet how many borrowers are really able to qualify for a home loan with a rate below 4 percent? According to mortgage finance company Freddie Mac, the average rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage flat-lined during the week ended June 28 at 3.66 percent, excluding fees. That is the lowest rate on record in the 41-year history of the Freddie Mac survey. Last year at this time, the average Read more [...]

FHA Accused of Taking on Too Much Mortgage Risk

During the housing boom, mortgage lenders lowered their lending standards, allowing borrowers with little or no down payments and even undocumented income to buy homes they otherwise couldn't afford. Now some are wondering if the U.S. Federal Housing Authority is being just as reckless. The FHA, a popular backer with first-time and lower-income buyers, currently allows qualified borrowers to put down as little as 3.5 percent of the home value as a down payment while still obtaining today's extremely Read more [...]

Banks Loosen Lending Standards on Credit Card and Auto Loans, But Not Mortgages

U.S. banks are not yet making it easier to obtain a mortgage loans, according to a new survey from the Federal Reserve, although credit card and auto loan requirements have loosened considerably since the financial crisis. "Domestic banks generally reported having eased their lending standards and having experienced stronger demand over the past three months," the Fed said in its survey, noting that the easing was primarily on consumer and car loans. Mortgage loans remain the touchy spot for lenders, Read more [...]

Congress Raises FHA Mortgage Loan Ceilings

Right before Thanksgiving, Congress agreed to raise the loan limits on Federal Housing Administration mortgages, a move they hope will provide adequate market credit while still limiting government presence on the housing scene. Prior to this deal, mortgage finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were the primary resource for those in the nation's pricier housing areas who needed big funding without making big down payments. During the housing downturn, the two companies, both now in government Read more [...]

Lenders Reject 1 in 4 Mortgage Requests – Is this Good News or Bad?

Mortgage lending standards have tightened so much in recent years that now more than one of every four home loan applications is rejected by banks, according to data analyzed by Wall Street Journal. In a survey of the 10 largest banks in the country in showed that they averaged a denial rate of 26.8 percent of all applications in 2010, up from 23.5 percent in 2009. The Journal piece gave an example of Amy Menell of Colorado, who was recently denied a loan "even though she has a credit score Read more [...]

Regulators Propose 20% Down Payment For Home Loans

According to an article on the Washington Post website federal regulators both from the FDIC and the Federal Reserve have put a new proposal on the table. If the regulations were to go through home buyers looking to get the best interest rates on a conventional mortgage would have to come up with a 20% down payment. What does this mean in dollars? If you plan to purchase a $200,000 home, in order to secure a great interest rate you would have to bring to the closing table a minimum down payment of Read more [...]

No New Loan Restrictions as Banks Wait on Economy

The latest quarterly survey released Monday from the Federal Reserve found that most banks have stopped tightening their lending standards on most loans, but they have not loosened their requirements either, as they sit in a holding pattern until the economy changes. The survey, which included feedback from senior loan officers from 55 domestic banks and 23 foreign banks doing business in the U.S., reported that after nine consecutive quarters of tighter lending standards, things may be starting Read more [...]

The 5 Most Frequently Asked Mortgage Questions

Based upon search engine data, these are five of the most frequently asked mortgage questions: MORTGAGE ORIGINATION QUESTIONS Q. How much can I borrow for a mortgage? A. When answering questions of this type, two major factors must be taken into consideration; the borrower's monthly income and the amount of money he or she has for a down payment. Most banks expect at least a 20% down payment, although there are some exceptions. It is also important for the borrower to have a reliable monthly Read more [...]