PLEASANTON, Calif. – Jan. 3, 2018 – To attract a larger pool of potential first-time homebuyers, some lenders are making it easier to get a home loan by lowering their FICO score requirements. The latest Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker found there was a slight decline in average scores for closed loans to Millennials year-over-year.
The trend was most pronounced for FHA and VA loans. In November 2016, the average FICO score on a closed FHA refinance loan to a millennial borrower was 678 – but it dropped to 669 in November 2017.
Likewise, average FICO scores on closed VA refinance loans decreased from 725 to 710 year-over-year.
The average FICO score for all closed loans to millennials in November 2016 was 725, while in 2017 it dropped to 723. Comparatively, Ellie Mae's latest Origination Insight Report showed that the average FICO score for borrowers of all ages who closed loans in November 2016 was 728. It dropped to 722 in November 2017.
"With the average credit score dipping, lenders are extending credit to borrowers who may have had no previous access to the housing market," says Joe Tyrrell, executive vice president of corporate strategy at Ellie Mae. "While these scores are still significantly above the levels seen a few years ago, it is encouraging to see increased accessibility, especially as the millennial population continues to pursue home ownership."
Conventional loans remained the most popular loan product for millennial borrowers at 66 percent of total closed loans in November. FHA loans accounted for 30 percent of closed loans for the second month in a row. During this period, VA loans represented just 2 percent of all closed loans. The remaining 3 percent were undisclosed.
Across all loans, the average time to close increased to 44 days, up from 43 days in October. The average time to close FHA loans, however, decreased to 43 days, down from 46 the month prior. Both average days to close conventional loans and VA loans rose, to 43 and 48 days, respectively.
Men continued to make up the majority of primary borrowers, with women making up just one-third (32 percent) of closed loans, which has remained consistent since August. Among women who were listed as the primary borrower, 40 percent identified as married, 59 percent as single and one percent as separated. This is nearly an inverse to male primary borrowers, among which 58 percent were listed as married and 42 percent single.
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