Archive for the ‘Student Loans’ Category

The Recession: 10 Years Later

Posted on December 08, 2017 by Laura Lam

In December 2007, employment peaked and started to head south – for two long years.  What followed: The loss of more than 8 million jobs, half the value of the Dow and the S&P 500, and trillions of dollars in retirement accounts and household wealth. Lives and businesses were ruined and whole neighborhoods emptied out, as banks took back homes bought on badly underwritten credit. A decade later, the American economy has recovered in many ways. Employers have been steadily adding jobs since early 2010, the stock market is booming and home prices have reached new all-time highs.  But in…

The Anatomy of Today’s First Time Homebuyer

Posted on December 04, 2017 by Laura Lam

Millennials continue to surge into the housing market, their demand rising unchecked by rising home prices or increasing mortgage rates.  Ellie Mae’s Millennial Tracker showed these first-time homebuyers saw a jump of more than .5 percentage points from their mortgage rates last year, yet they continue to buy homes. Now, a new infographic from the National Association of Realtors shows exactly what these younger homebuyers look like, and what they want. NAR pointed out Millennial homebuyers faced various obstacles in their path to homeownership including higher rents and home prices, tight inventory conditions and repaying student loan debt. These impediments…

Sales to First-Time Home Buyers Fell 34% in 2017

Posted on November 16, 2017 by Laura Lam

First time homebuyers continue to struggle to enter the housing market amidst limited housing inventory, falling to the fourth lowest level since 1981, according to the National Association of Realtors’ 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers report.  The share of first time homebuyers in the housing market decreased from 35% in 2016 to 34% in 2017. In the 36-year history of NAR’s report, the long-term average of first-time homebuyers rests at 39%. “The dreams of many aspiring first-time buyers were unfortunately dimmed over the past year by persistent inventory shortages, which undercut their ability to become homeowners,” stated NAR…

Millennials are saving more for retirement

Posted on November 10, 2017 by Laura Lam

In the race to save for retirement, one group is doing surprisingly well: millennial parents.  That’s according to a new NerdWallet survey, which found that 38% of millennial parents (ages 18-34) save more than 15% of their income for retirement. All told, millennial parents reported a median retirement savings rate of 10% of income, compared with 8% for Generation X parents (ages 35-54) and just 5% for baby boomer parents (ages 55+). Given the picture typically painted of this age group, you might be shouting “fake news” right now. There’s one caveat: The results include only those currently saving for…

Credit Card Delinquencies Are Rising

Posted on November 01, 2017 by Laura Lam

While it’s easy to ignore when the stock market is at record highs and unemployment is reassuringly low, household debt is on the rise.  The Center for Microeconomic Data’s (CMD) latest Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit reveals that total household debt rose by $114 billion (0.9%) to $12.84 trillion in the second quarter of 2017.  This increase put overall household debt $164 billion above its peak in the third quarter of 2008, and 15.1% above its trough in the second quarter of 2013 Consumer debt, in many ways, should generate more concern – during the good times.  The persistence of…

Best and Worst States for Consumer Credit Scores

Posted on October 30, 2017 by Laura Lam

Consumer credit varies nationally due to regional variations in income and the cost of living.  According to a new study from LendEDU and Experian, the Northeast had the highest average credit score (694). The Midwest (693), Pacific (691), and Rocky Mountain (690) regions followed closely behind. The Southeast (668) and Southwest (662) regions had the lowest credit scores on average.  The best average state scores are roughly 7% higher than the national average, while the worst states are about 7% lower. Vantage Scores were used for the rankings. Scores of 700 and above are considered good, and below 650 is…

Mortgage Default Rates Begin to Rise

Posted on October 24, 2017 by Laura Lam

Mortgage defaults in September were slightly higher than in the previous month and are still lower than a year ago but they are closer to matching levels seen in 2016.  The default rate for first mortgages last month was 0.66%, up a basis point from August, but down a basis point from September a year ago, according to Standard & Poor’s and Experian. Second-mortgage default rates were three basis points higher on a consecutive-month basis at 0.53% but were 3 basis points lower year-to-year.  The composite default rate for mortgage, bank card and auto loan credit was up 2 basis points from…

Meet the Next Generation of Homebuyers: Gen Z

Posted on October 13, 2017 by Laura Lam

In its most recent study, Zillow Group examined the newest generation to enter the housing market – Generation Z.  Generation Z is considered to be those born from 1995 to 2010, meaning the oldest in the generation are now 22 years old.  The Zillow Group Report on Consumer and Housing Trends 2017 shows this new generation now makes up more than 21% of the U.S. population, and is the most ethnically and racially diverse generation in our history. They are beginning to enter the housing market – as renters. However, this generation is just as likely as older generations to…

PNC Has the Edge in Bank Customer Satisfaction

Posted on October 12, 2017 by Laura Lam

National retail banks have invested heavily in digital transformation and marketing initiatives designed to position themselves as the best one-stop shops for all consumer banking, credit card, loan and investment needs. When it comes to real-world customer satisfaction, though, the biggest drivers of success are low problem incidence and consistency across all lines of bank business, according to the inaugural J.D. Power 2017 National Bank Satisfaction Study. In the complex field of competition among the nation’s biggest banks, Pittsburgh-based PNC just edged out New York behemoth Chase Bank – the nation’s largest bank with more than $2 trillion in assets…

Millennials Over-Extended and Frustrated with Home-Buying Process

Posted on October 04, 2017 by Laura Lam

Millennials poured some $514 billion into the U.S. housing market over the last year as the largest generation of home buyers, Zillow reported.  But new survey data shows their home-ownership aspirations are stymied by affordability issues, frustration with the buying and selling process, and a cutthroat housing market. More than half of young buyers (53%) make multiple offers to buy their first home, and only 2 in 5 millennials (39%) are able to make the recommended 20% or more down payment.  The results of the Zillow Group Report on Consumer Housing Trends 2017 show how the nation’s highly competitive housing…