The country's fourth-largest mortgage lender is securing standards for most new home loans among the murky economic outlook. J.P. Morgan Chase stated that starting April 14, most new mortgage loans will require a credit score of 700 and a down payment of 20%. Chase said the new standards do not apply to their existing mortgage customers or low and moderate-income borrowers who qualify for their 3% down payment "DreaMaker" product.
Rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage showed zero movement in the Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) for the week ending April 9. The PMMS predicts, "As financial markets continue to heal, we expect mortgage rates will drift lower in the second half of 2020."
Economist Elliot Eisenberg, PhD praised the Federal Reserve for its actions to assist the economy amidst the coronavirus pandemic. Eisenberg described Fed Chairman Jay Powell's plan in three parts: "First, rates are low and will stay low for a long time! Second, the Fed will buy as large as necessary to keep markets running! Third, [Powell] carefully requested the administration to have a thoughtful plan prior to re-opening the economy for business, to best avoid a COVID-19 reoccurrence."
A surprising number of Americans plan to spend their government stimulus checks on non-essential items according to a survey by personal finance site Crediful.com. The survey of 1,013 adults revealed that 46.7% planned to use the money for items classified as non-essential, compared to 53.3% who said they will use the money for food, housing and utilities.