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Average Credit Scores for Potential Homebuyers Dip

The credit score for all borrowers dipped to 722 in November 2017 from 728 in November 2016, according to a report released by Ellie Mae, a cloud-based platform provider for the mortgage finance industry, on Wednesday.

The report, which also gave indicators on millennial borrowers through the Ellie Mae Millennial tracker, said that average FICO score for closed loans to millennials dropped to 723 in November 2017 from 725 in the year-ago period even as some lenders were making it easier to get a home loan by lowering their FICO score requirements to attract a larger pool of potential first-time homebuyers.

“With the average credit score dipping, lenders are extending credit to borrowers who may have had no previous access to the housing market,” said Joe Tyrell, EVP of Corporate Strategy at Ellie Mae.

While the Millennial Tracker, an online interactive tool that provides access to demographic data on millennial homebuyers, showed a slight decline in the overall average scores for closed loans to millennials year-over-year, the trend was most pronounced for FHA and VA loans to this generation of homebuyers.

According to the tracker, the average FICO score on a closed FHA refinance loans to millennial borrower in November 2016 was 678. This score dropped to 669 in November 2017. The report also indicated that closed VA refinance loans decreased from 725 to 710 year-over-year.

Conventional loans remained the most popular loan product for millennial borrowers at 66 percent of total closed loans with FHA accounting for 30 percent of closed loans for the second month in a row. During this period, VA loans represented only 2 percent of all closed loans.

Across all loans, the average time to close increased to 44 days up from 43 days in October. However, the average time to close FHA loans decreased to 43 days, from 46 in the month prior.

In terms of demographics, the report indicated that men continued to make up the majority of primary borrowers with women making up only 32 percent or one-third of closed loans. Among women who were listed as the primary borrower, 40 percent were identified as married, 59 percent as single and one percent as separated. This is nearly inverse to male primary borrowers, among which 58 percent were listed as married and 42 percent as single.

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