Due to tightening credit caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the average FICO score for a closed mortgage in April soared to 749, up from 742 in March and up from 728 in April 2019, according to Ellie Mae’s most recent Origination Insight report.
That’s the highest average FICO score for all loan types in at least 18 months.
Conventional refinance FICO scores increased to 763, up from 758 in March and representing the highest such score since January of 2013.
Meanwhile, the refinance share of mortgage volume surged to 65% of all loans in April, up from 55% in March, according to the report.
Driving the increase in the share rate was an increase in refinance volume driven by historically low mortgage rates. The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage in April was 3.48%, down from 3.65% the month prior.
It took an average of 42 days to process a mortgage loan in April, up from an average of 40 days in March.
The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity increased to 3.9% of all loans.
The closing rate for all loans was 76.5%, down from 78.0% in March.
“Interest rates continued to decline in April, driving up the share of refinances by 10 percent,” says Jonathan Corr, president and CEO of Ellie Mae, in a statement. “We’re also seeing FICO scores increase as lenders manage the current economic uncertainty by tightening credit. Ellie Mae has seen record volumes on our Encompass Digital Lending Platform in recent weeks, indicating that by leveraging digital mortgage technology, our lenders are able to serve their customers through this time of rapid change.”