Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Understanding subprime mortgage lending in the US

From wikipedia.

Subprime lending is a general term that refers to the practice of making loans to borrowers who do not qualify for market interest rates because of problems with their credit history or the inability to prove that they have enough income to support the monthly payment on the loan for which they are applying. The word Subprime refers to the credit-worthiness of the borrower (being less than ideal) and does not refer to the interest rate of the loan. Subprime loans or mortgages are risky for both creditors and debtors because of the combination of high interest rates, bad credit history, and murky personal financial situations often associated with subprime applicants. A subprime loan is one that is offered at an interest rate higher than A-paper loans due to the increased risk. Subprime, therefore, is not the same as "Alt-A", because Alt-A loans qualify for the "A-rating" by Moody's or other rating firms, albeit for an "alternative" means.

he subprime mortgage crisis is an ongoing problem manifesting itself through liquidity issues in the banking system which have become more prevalent due to foreclosures which accelerated in the United States in late 2006 and triggered a global financial crisis during 2007 and 2008.


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