Read today’s top story: The trouble with appraisals: How the wild market is making it harder to get financing


Making it in 2016’s Mortgage Market

by Marie Schutt


Marie Schutt is the managing editor of Chicago Agent

With spring just around the corner, Chicagoland’s lending community is in an interesting position: Fannie Mae’s Q4 2015 Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey revealed that lenders expect to continue easing up on credit standards, while a recent Mortgage Bankers Association survey found the number of lenders expecting loans to be “somewhat high” or “high” risk increased by 10 percent from the previous year.

Moving into 2016, mortgage rates have failed to keep up with strong gains in job growth, a reflection of larger factors like global market instability and waning oil prices’ impact on the mortgage market.

As we discuss in our cover story, many consumers still don’t have an accurate picture of what the post-recession market has to offer. Fannie Mae also recently released a Dec. 2015 report, “What Do Consumers Know About the Mortgage Qualification Criteria?” in which about one half of consumers surveyed reported being unable to identify the three key mortgage application criteria – down payment, DTI and credit score – and only 23 percent were aware of the 3 and 5 percent programs available. This lack of awareness was found to be more pronounced among renters and groups with lower incomes and education levels.

We took those insights (and many others) to craft our cover story: “Your Guide to Mortgages in 2016.” Within, you’ll find straightforward advice from Chicagoland’s lending leaders on the types of loans available to your clients, tips for handling self-employed buyers, a guide to setting up monthly payments and more. Are you ready to take on the financing process in 2016? Let me know – send your comments, questions and feedback to

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