June 02, 2014

WSJ: Next HELOC reset to affect 800,000



June 3, 2014 – This year's reset for home equity line-of-credit payments will affect more than double the number of borrowers this year as the year before – raising payments required from 817,000 borrowers who owe more than $23 billion, according to data reported in The Wall Street Journal.

This jump in the number of people affected by the reset comes at a particularly bad time as HELOC delinquency rates have doubled on loans reaching the end of their 10-year interest-only payment period, according to The Wall Street Journal. The article notes HELOC borrowers typically pay only the interest on their loans for 10 years before being required to make principal payments as well.

The Journal looked at data from credit-reporting firm Equifax and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. "With home prices now rising, banks have begun to increase Heloc lending," the paper said. "But new originations are a fraction of levels during the peak of the housing boom. And many borrowers with 10-year-old HELOCs can't readily refinance – which could extend their interest-only periods – because many home prices are below where they were when they signed the loans."

Economists are predicting the reset will cause a significant decrease in consumer spending.

Credit unions have lower HELOC delinquency ratios and net charge-off ratios than banks, according to NAFCU reports on federally insured credit union trends.