Two Out of Three Consumers Find Home Loans Harder To Get

by: Research Recap

Two-thirds of Americans looking for a home loan are finding it more difficult to do so, according to a survey carried out for Deloitte. That number seems likely to rise further in the wake of the growing problems of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Deloitte’s survey revealed:

  • Of those who applied for a home mortgage, 67 percent found it more difficult; for a home equity line of credit (HELOC), that number was 65 percent.
  • Personal loan applicants weren’t much better off, with 62 percent finding it harder to get credit
  • More than three-quarters (76 percent) of those who applied for small business financing found it more difficult, compared with one year ago.

Despite the negative headlines that financial institutions have been receiving in the United States, the survey found that two out of three consumers (67 percent) held the same perception of their primary financial institution as they did before the crunch. For the 5 percent who see their relationship as more positive, they cited enhanced customer service and an increased number of products and incentives to choose from as top reasons.

On the opposite side of the coin, 15 percent of survey respondents have come to view their banking relationship more negatively over the past year and 5 percent overall have changed banks.

Among other findings of the survey:

  • More than half (59 percent) of respondents did not find it any harder to obtain credit cards over the past year. However, the economy is having an effect, with 40 percent of respondents reporting spending less on their cards now than in the past. For those who reported spending more on their credit cards than they would have in the past, they are often using them for essential purchases: 70 percent are using them more often for gas, while 67 percent are doing so for food/groceries, 24 percent for health care and 14 percent for utilities.
  • Of respondents who have a mortgage, 91 percent have made their mortgage payments either early or on time over the past year.

Surprisingly, only 2 percent of respondents from the four states that have been hardest hit by the mortgage crisis (California, Florida, Arizona and Nevada) said they’ve been late, compared with 6 percent for all respondents.