NEW YORK – March 31, 2014 – More banks are lowering minimum FICO score requirements in an attempt to shore up lending for underserved borrowers.
Carrington Mortgage Services is the latest company to announce that it lowered its minimum FICO score to 550. It also expanded guidelines on several FHA VA, and USDA loan programs to aid those with FICO scores below 640.
Wells Fargo, the nation’s largest mortgage lender, said in February that it was lowering its minimum FICO score requirements on FHA-backed mortgages from 640 to 600. The move, bank officials said, was aimed at “opening up our credit box more.”
One in three consumers has a FICO score below 650, according to Carrington, which says it’s refocusing its business on the underserved segment and eliminating conventional and jumbo loans. In addition to accepting more lower-score borrowers, it’s also limiting its acceptance of wholesale submissions with FICO scores above 680 starting April 1, except for VA loans, HousingWire reports.
“Effectively meeting the needs of clients in the underserved market requires the ability to both originate quality loans and appropriately service them after the fact,” says Ray Brousseau, executive vice president of Carrington’s mortgage lending division. “Both Carrington’s lending platform and specialty servicing business were created to serve this particular market segment. That uniquely positions us as the lender of choice for this population of borrowers and the mortgage brokers and real estate agents who work with them.”
Source: “Carrington Ups Ante on Wells Fargo by Lowering FICO Standard,” HousingWire (March 24, 2014)
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