Susan Deierling, Assoc. Broker
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Realty Executives Northern Arizona
Tag Archives: Senior Loan Officer Survey
According to the Federal Reserve’s quarterly Senior Loan Officer Survey, it’s getting easier to get approved for a home loan.
Between July – September 2012, fewer than 6% of banks tightened mortgage guidelines — the fourth straight quarter that’s happened– and roughly 10% of banks actually loosened them.
For today’s buyers and refinancing homeowners in Cornville , softening guidelines hint at a quicker, simpler mortgage approval process; one which gives more U.S. homeowners better access to today’s ultra-low mortgage rates.
However, although banks are easing guidelines, it doesn’t mean that we’re returned to the days of no-verification home loans. Today’s mortgage applicants should still expect to provide lenders with documentation to support a proper loan approval.
Some of the more commonly requested documents include :
- Tax returns, W-2s, and pay stubs : In order to prove income, lenders will want to see up to two years of income documentation. Self-employed applicants may be asked for additional business information. Borrowers earning income via Social Security, Disability Income, Pension or other means should expect to provide documentation.
- Bank and asset statements : To verify “reserves”, banks will often require up to 60 days of printed bank statements, or the most recently quarterly reports. Be prepared to explain deposits which are not payroll-related — banks adhere to federal anti-money laundering laws.
- Personal identification documents : To verify your identity, banks often require photocopies of both sides of your drivers license and/or U.S. passport, and may also ask for copies of your social security card.
In addition, if your credit report lists collection items, judgments, or federal tax liens, be prepared to discuss these items with your lender. Sometimes, a derogatory credit event can be eliminated or ignored during underwriting. Other times, it cannot.
The more information that you share with your lender, the smoother your mortgage approval process can be.
As the housing market improves and lender confidence increases, mortgage guidelines are expected to loosen more. 2013 may open lending to even more mortgage applicants.
As another signal of an improving U.S. economy, the nation’s biggest banks have started to loosen mortgage lending guidelines.
As reported by the Federal Reserve, last quarter, no “big banks” reported stricter mortgage standards as compared to the quarter prior and “modest fractions” of banks reported easier mortgage standards.
The data comes from the Fed’s quarterly Senior Loan Officer Survey, a questionnaire sent to 64 domestic banks and 23 U.S. branches of foreign banks. The survey is meant to gauge, among other things, direct demand for consumer loans and banks’ willingness to meet this demand.
Not surprisingly, as mortgage rates fell to all-time lows last quarter, nearly all responding banks reported an increase in demand for prime residential mortgages where “prime residential mortgage” is defined as a mortgage for an applicant whose credit scores are high; whose payment history is unblemished; and, whose debt-to-income ratios are low.
Consumers were eager to buy homes and/or refinance them last quarter and 6% of the nation’s big banks said their credit standards “eased somewhat” during that time frame. The remaining 94% of big banks said standards were left unchanged.
The ease of getting approved for a home loan, however, is relative.
As compared to 5 years ago, Sedona home buyers and rate shoppers face a distinctly more challenging mortgage environment. Not only are today’s minimum FICO score requirements higher by up to 100 points, depending on the loan product, applicants face new income scrutiny and must also demonstrate a more clear capacity to make repayments.
Tougher lending standards are among the reasons why the national home ownership rate is at its lowest point since 1997. It is harder to get mortgage-approved today as compared to late-last decade.
For those who apply and succeed, the reward is access to the lowest mortgage rates in a lifetime. Mortgage rates throughout Arizona continue to push home affordability to all-time highs.
If you’ve been shopping for a home, or planning to refinance, with mortgage rates low, it’s a good time to commit.