Nearly half of all homeowners who lost their homes to foreclosure during the housing bust own their own homes again and most have a mortgage. just nine years after home prices bottomed in 2007.
A new report from the Urban Institute that compares credit profiles of renters and owners found nine million (7.1 percent) of all adult consumers with a current or past mortgage experienced a foreclosure on a first mortgage between 2003 and 2015. Of these consumers, 4.7 million are currently renters (including more than 500,000 with a current mortgage) and 4.3 million are owners (2.5 million with a current mortgage).
A foreclosure remains on a credit report for seven years. That so many who lost their homes to default just eight or nine years ago is a remarkable achievement and proves that even though a foreclosure is considered a very negative event by a FICO score, it won’t ruin one’s credit forever. If all other credit obligations are in good standing, FICO scores can begin to rebound in as little as two years.
The study also found that:
- Sixty-four million or 52 percent of all renters have credit scores below 650, generally not high enough to qualify for a mortgage.
- Many of the 15 million middle-aged renters with a past mortgage, particularly those in the four “sand states” (Arizona, California, Florida, and Nevada) and Colorado, appear to have been forced out of homeownership by financial troubles.
- Of the 96 million renters who have never had a mortgage, 42 percent have debt in collections.
- Twelve million or 5 percent of adult consumers are renters with a mortgage on another property. These consumers look almost identical to consumers who own their own property and have a current mortgage.
- Owners with no mortgage or a paid-off mortgage are on average older and have higher Vantage scores than consumers with a current mortgage. However, younger consumers with no mortgage have lower Vantage scores than consumers with a current mortgage.
The study, “Comparing Credit Profiles of American Renters and Owners” by Wei Lee and Laurie Goodman, reviewed 2015 consumer credit data from a major credit bureau and 2015 public property record data, supplemented with the 2014 American Community Survey’s Public Use Microdata Sample.