Subprime loans are mortgages to ‘risky’ buyers that have poor credit histories. Because of the extra risk involved in these loans, lenders charge a premium for them making them one of the most profitable types of loans. Some of these mortgages go for rates that are up to 4% higher than standard mortgages.
In the US late payments on these types of loans have surged recently:
Subprime mortgage originations climbed to $625 billion in 2005 from $120 billion in 2001, the WSJ said, citing Inside Mortgage Finance, a trade publication.
Based on current performance, 2006 is on track to be one of the worst ever for subprime loans, according to UBS AG, it said. It cited the bank saying that roughly 80,000 subprime borrowers who took out mortgages packaged into securities this year are behind on their payments.
So between 2001 & 2005 the subprime mortgage increased by more than 500%? A $625 billion market’s got to be hard to resist, but I wonder what effect this news will have on lending standards?