ABC Highlights 'Glimmers of Light' in Lending Market
It‚Äôs not often when members of the media highlight positive aspects of the economy, but that‚Äôs just what ABC financial contributor Mellody Hobson did on ‚ÄúGood Morning America‚ÄĚ June 3.
‚Äú50 percent of U.S. banks have tightened their lending standings over the last year so there‚Äôs no question it‚Äôs harder‚ÄĚ to obtain a loan,‚ÄĚ Hobson told anchor Diane Sawyer. ‚ÄúOn top of that, most small business owners use their homes as collateral to secure those loans and then fewer banks want to accept the homes as collateral.‚ÄĚ
But, she added, ‚Äúthere are some glimmers of light, one of which is that in really tough economies, fewer people actually start small businesses and that means that demand for loans is down. Actually nationwide demand is down about 15 percent so that means that because there‚Äôs less demand there‚Äôs less competition for the loans that are out there so if you‚Äôre really, really aggressive there is an opportunity.‚ÄĚ
There are also ‚Äúrays of light‚ÄĚ in the housing market, according to Hobson. ‚ÄúA 30-year fixed-rate mortgage can be had for 6 percent. That‚Äôs still at historic lows.‚ÄĚ
And student loans: ‚ÄúFirst and foremost, students can now borrow more money from the government than in times past.‚ÄĚ Student Loan Act of 2008
Hobson didn‚Äôt sugarcoat the economy, noting that getting a good small business loan means ‚Äúgoing out and trying lots of different banks and really making the case for why your business is going to be successful.‚ÄĚ She called the housing market ‚Äúbrutal‚ÄĚ and said it‚Äôs ‚Äúmuch harder to get a student loan than it ever was before.‚ÄĚ
But she also educated viewers on the opportunities for loans, especially for graduating students. She encouraged them to consolidate their loans after graduation, to obtain one fixed interest rate and ultimately save money.
‚ÄúThe government gives you one opportunity, one time to consolidate all of those loans and basically refinance them,‚ÄĚ she explained. ‚ÄúThey set the rate once a year on July 1. And this year we know the rate is going to be much lower than it was,‚ÄĚ Hobson said. ‚ÄúIt will be 3.9 percent, which is a pretty steep drop from where we are today, which is around 7.2 percent. They‚Äôll save about $450 a year, which is good news for students.‚ÄĚ