Although real estate agents are seeing increases in inquiries about homes in the suburbs compared to the same period last year and house sales are up slightly in the second-home market, consumers are not applying for as many loans and banks are not lending as much.
Millions of Americans, 29 million, filed for unemployment last week for the first time according to Investopedia.com, slightly more people than expected, but less than the previous week.
As they lost their jobs or were forced to close their businesses, homeowners who could not make their mortgage payments asked their mortgage servicers for permission to pause their payments. Once a rare occurrence, the number of accounts in deferment, forbearance, or some other form of relief rose to 100 million between March 1 and the end of May according to today’s Wall Street Journal article by Anna Maria Andriotis.
For lenders and borrowers, these are difficult times because the coronavirus stimulus package includes a provision that says lenders that allow borrowers to defer their debt payments cannot report these payments as late to the credit reporting companies, making credit scores an unreliable marker of how a borrower is doing paying their loans back.
Banks are pulling back on credit because lenders are having a difficult time determining if applicants’ credit scores and credit reports reflect their true levels of risk. Not only do they not know who to lend to, but they cannot tell how much their loan losses will be if the economy remains a mess.
Across the board, lending standards have been tightened. Even mailed credit card solicitations fell from 316 million in February to 74 million in May. (Wsj.com)
It takes more work to find borrowers who will pay their loans back. A lender will have to sort through more data. Some lenders are asking borrowers for permission to look at their payment history on accounts not appearing in their credit report and to analyze their banking accounts.
If you need funding, apply now. I am working online with the rest of you.
Patrick St. Cin
W – 512-213-2271
M – 505-239-3026
Andriotis, June 29, 2020, Flying Blind Into a Credit Storm’: Widespread Deferrals Mean Banks Can’t Tell Who is Creditworthy, available online at https://www.wsj.com/articles/flying-blind-into-a-credit-storm-widespread-deferrals-mean-banks-cant-tell-whos-creditworthy-11593423001?mod=hp_lead_pos5