Press Release

Millennial's Refinance Activity Soars as Interest Rates Hit Historic Lows, According to the Latest Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker

PLEASANTON, Calif. – June 3, 2020 – According to the latest Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker, refinance activity hit an all-time high in April 2020, besting the previous mark set in March of this year. The historic refinance surge took place as the average interest rate for millennials reached the lowest point since Ellie Mae began tracking the data in January 2016.

Refinance share – the percentage of all loans closed during the month that were refinances – was 55% in April, up from 38% the month prior. Year-over-year, millennial refinance share increased by 40 percentage points. This unprecedented rise in the refinance market happened as the average interest rate on all 30-year loans dipped for the fourth consecutive month down to 3.48%.

With millennials applying for refinances of their mortgages to lower their monthly payments, the average time to close for this loan purpose increased by three days, from 36 to 39, as lenders faced increased volume. Overall, time to close on all loans increased from an average of 39 days to 40.

“With interest rates reaching historic lows, millennials have the chance to set themselves up for significant savings over the long-term and they have moved quickly to seize this opportunity,” said Joe Tyrrell, chief operating officer at Ellie Mae. “The refinance spike means lenders are managing crowded pipelines, but they are doing so without the ability to meet face-to-face with borrowers because of social distancing. Lenders that invested in virtual solutions like online borrower portals, eClosing and virtual verifications are capitalizing on this trend and turning this historic appetite for refinances into business growth.”

The Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker divides millennials into two groups: older millennials – borrowers between 30 and 40 years old, and younger millennials – borrowers between 21 and 29 years old.

For older millennials, refinance share reached 62% in April, exactly double the refinance share of younger millennials at 31%. Both millennial sub-groups secured historically low average interest rates; 3.45% and 3.48%, respectively, for older and younger members of this demographic.

The average FICO score for millennial borrowers in April was 741, the highest recorded average score in the history of the Millennial Tracker, after both millennial sub-groups saw their average FICO score increase month-over-month.

“The rapidly changing secondary market, along with the overall economic uncertainty in the United States has caused lenders to implement stricter credit requirements for loans,” said Tyrrell. “For millennials looking to purchase their first home, now more than ever they are learning the importance of exploring different loan types, including those which don’t require as high of a credit score as Conventional loans.”

Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker – Older Millennials vs. Younger Millennials

Older Millennials Younger Millennials
Closed Loans (Share) — All
Refinance 62% 31%
Purchase 37% 68%
Loan Type — All
FHA 11% 22%
Conventional 86% 75%
VA 1% 1%
Other 2% 3%
Time To Close (Days) - All
All 40 40
Refinance 39 39
Purchase 42 40
Average Interest Rates
30 Year Note Rate — ALL 3.45% 3.48%
30 Year Note Rate — FHA 3.55% 3.55%
30 Year Note Rate — Conventional 3.43% 3.46%
30 Year Note Rate — VA 3.14% 3.16%

Ellie Mae®
is the leading cloud-based loan origination platform provider for the mortgage industry. 

The Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker is an interactive online tool that provides access to up-to-date demographic data about this new generation of homebuyers. It mines data from a robust sampling of approximately 80%of all closed mortgages dating back to 2014 that were initiated on Ellie Mae’s Encompass® all-in-one mortgage management solution. Given the size of this sample and Ellie Mae’s market share, it is a strong proxy of Millennial mortgage indicators across the country. Searches can be tailored by borrower geography, age, gender, marital status, FICO score and amortization type. For more information, visit

About the Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker

The Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker focuses on Millennial mortgage applications during specific time periods. Ellie Mae defines Millennials as applicants born between the years 1980 and 1999. New data is updated on the first Monday of every month for two months prior. The Millennial Tracker is a subset of our Origination Insight Report, which details aggregated, anonymized data pulled from Ellie Mae’s Encompass origination platform. Additional information regarding the Origination Insight Report can be found at News organizations have the right to reuse this data, provided that Ellie Mae, Inc. is credited as the source.

About Ellie Mae

Ellie Mae is the leading cloud-based platform provider for the mortgage finance industry. Ellie Mae’s technology solutions enable lenders to originate more loans, reduce origination costs, and shorten the time to close, all while ensuring the highest levels of compliance, quality and efficiency. Visit or call 877.355.4362 to learn more.


Erica Bigley
Ellie Mae, Inc.
(925) 227-5913

Caitlin Coffee
(312) 635-8204

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© 2020 Ellie Mae, Inc. Ellie Mae®, Encompass®, AllRegs®, Mavent®, Velocify®, the Ellie Mae logo and other trademarks or service marks of Ellie Mae, Inc. appearing herein are the property of Ellie Mae, Inc. or its subsidiaries. All rights reserved. Other company and product names may be trademarks or copyrights of their respective owners.

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