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Loan Prospects Becoming Better Qualified

DC has healthiest borrower prospects

Aug. 21, 2013

By Mortgage Daily staff

The pool of potential mortgage borrowers has increased in quality, according to a new report. Consumers in five states stand out among the most qualified -- with the financially healthiest borrower prospects located in the nation's capitol.

Average credit scores for all prospective U.S. borrowers have risen by more than 10 points since last year.

At the same time, the average loan-to-value ratio for prospective borrowers across the country has fallen by 1.6 percent.

The findings were reported Tuesday by the mortgage lead generation company LendingTree.

LendingTree developed a "borrower health score" for each state by factoring in weighted-average credit scores, weighted-average LTV ratios and overall lendability. The score was based on a 100-point scale.

LendingTree Founder and Chief Executive Officer Doug Lebda called the shift in credit profile metrics "encouraging."

"Higher credit scores and improved LTVs are a sign that borrowers are working to improve their financial health," Lebda stated in the announcement. "As the housing market bounces back, credit is becoming more accessible, making it easier for consumers to qualify for mortgages."

With a score of 96.53, Washington, D.C., ranked higher than any state in the second quarter. Credit scores averaged 689 in the district, while LTV ratios averaged 85.3 percent.

For the nation as a whole, the health score was 81.51.

New Jersey ranked No. 2 in LendingTree's report with a health score of 93.67. The average credit score in the Garden State was 679, and the average LTV ratio was 83.9 percent.

The report's findings contrast New Jersey's poor standing among its peers when it comes to loan performance. In the Mortgage Bankers Association's National Delinquency Survey Q2 2013, New Jersey's 8.01 percent foreclosure inventory rate was the second-worst in the nation, while its 7.21 percent 60-day mortgage delinquency rate was the third-worst in TransUnion's second-quarter delinquency report.

The third-best health score in LendingTree's report was in Hawaii: 92.09. Average credit scores in the Aloha State were 677, and average LTVs were 87.7 percent.

Next was Massachusetts, where credit scores averaged 676, LTVs averaged 85.6 percent and the health score was 91.76.

Rounding out the top five states was California with its 90.77 health score. LTVs in California averaged 85.6 percent, and credit scores averaged 679.

At the bottom of LendingTree's list was Mississippi, which had a health score of 67.83.

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