Fannie Mae, What a Gal!

You may want to sit down for this. While you’re at it, make sure you’re not operating heavy machinery or drinking milk – you might shoot it right out your nose when you read this. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Fannie Mae – the residential finance company, not the maiden aunt who always brings a tuna casserole to every family gathering – recently announced that it would allow lenders to use employment and income information from a database operated by the credit bureau Equifax to verify borrowers’ creditworthiness. This means that the paper chase of tracking down and collecting pay stubs and tax data for a home loan application would be a thing of the past. Yes, you read that correctly: Fannie Mae is doing something to HELP streamline the home loan process. (If the shock of that news just caused you to shoot milk out of your nose or drop your clipboard into the gaping maw of a large machine, you have no one to blame but yourself – you were warned.) But wait, there’s more!

Good old Fannie also announced changes that could ease mortgage credit: in mid-2016, it would ease the lender process for granting loans to borrowers who don’t have a credit score. What?! In that same time frame, Fannie said it would start looking at “trended” credit data from Equifax and TransUnion. This information will help Fannie Mae see if borrowers are paying off their credit card bill every month or just making the minimum payment and/or if they’re allowing the balances to rise. Borrowers who are making the full payment could see perks. According to Steve Chaouki, head of TransUnion’s financial services group, this would enable lenders to approve more customers and give customers better rates.

Very Interesting!
According to the NAR, first-time home buyers comprised 32% of existing-home sales in August of this year. That’s only mildly interesting, sure, but look at how those sales break down:

•Buyers age 34 and under accounted for 29% of those sales
•Renters accounted for 38% of first-time home buyers

Are you ready for this?

•Almost 50% of those first-time home buyers were 35-55 years old!

Not to discount The Millennials (that sounds like the name of a wedding band), but there’s a huge segment of first-time home buyers who are older that should not be taken lightly. It’s fair to say that the 35-55 year-old segment is reasonably tech savvy, so mobile apps and such are still a big part of their lives, but they’re of the generation that still likes to do things face to face – we should all keep that in mind when we’re marketing to first-time home buyers.

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