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Press Release

November Origination Insight Report from Ellie Mae Shows FICO Scores Begin to Drop as Refinance Share Holds Steady

PLEASANTON, Calif. – December 20, 2017 – FICO scores began to dip across most loan types in November as percentage of refinances held steady at 39 percent of total loans, according to the November Origination Insight Report from Ellie Mae® (NYSE:ELLI), the leading cloud-based platform provider for the mortgage finance industry. Average FICO scores on all loans dropped to 722 in November from 724 the month prior. Refinances saw FICO scores dip across loan products. FHA refinance FICO scores dropped from 650 in October to 645 in November, conventional refinance FICO scores dropped to 730 from 732 the month prior and VA refinance FICO scores dropped to 700 from 702 in October.

“Interest rates rose slightly in November while we saw the refinance share hold at 39 percent of all closed loans,” said Jonathan Corr, president and CEO of Ellie Mae. “Additionally, we saw FICO scores drop modestly, especially across refinances, indicating that lenders may be loosening credit standards to attract the dwindling refinance market. This is certainly a trend we will continue to watch into the winter months.”

Other statistics of note in November included:

  • The percentage breakdown of all closed loans remained steady with conventional loans at 66 percent, FHA loans at 20 percent and VA loans at 10 percent.
  • Closing time for all loans held at 43 days for the third straight month.
  • 30-year interest rates increased to 4.240 from 4.200 the month prior.
  • The percentage of ARMs increased to 5.6 percent.

The Origination Insight Report mines data from a robust sampling of approximately 80 percent of all mortgage applications that were initiated on the Encompass® all-in-one mortgage management solution. Ellie Mae believes the Origination Insight Report is a strong proxy of the underwriting standards employed by lenders across the country.

In addition to the Origination Insight Report, Ellie Mae also distributes data from its monthly Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker on the first Wednesday of each month. The Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker focuses on mortgage applications submitted by borrowers born between the years 1980 and 1999.


6 Months Ago
(May 2017)*
1 Year Ago
(Nov. 2016)*
Closed Loans
Refinance 39% 39% 32% 47%
Purchase 61% 61% 68% 53%
FHA 20% 20% 23% 20%
Conventional 66% 66% 63% 68%
VA 10% 10% 10% 9%
Days to Close
All 43 43 42 49
Refinance 40 40 41 51
Purchase 45 44 42 47
Percentage of ARM and Fixed Loan Volume
ARM % 5.6% 5.5% 6.1% 3.9%
30-Year Rate
Average 4.24% 4.20% 4.33% 3.81%

*All references to months should be read as month ended.

  Closed First-Lien Loans (All Types)
FICO Score (FICO) 722
Loan-to-Value (LTV) 79
Debt-to-Income (DTI) 25/39

More information and analysis of closed and denied loans by loan purpose and investor are available in the full report at http://www.elliemae.com/about-us/news-reports/ellie-mae-reports/.

To get a meaningful view of lender pull-through, Ellie Mae reviewed a sampling of loan applications initiated 90 days prior—or the August 2017 applications—to calculate an overall closing rate of 70.9 percent in November 2017 (see full report).

About the Ellie Mae Origination Insight Report

The Origination Insight Report focuses on loans that closed in a specific month and compares their characteristics to similar loans that closed three and six months earlier. The closing rate is calculated on a 90-day cycle rather than on a monthly basis because most loan applications typically take one-and-a-half to two months from application to closing. Loans that do not close could still be active applications or applications withdrawn by consumers or denied for incompleteness or non-qualification.

The Origination Insight Report details aggregated anonymized data pulled from Ellie Mae’s Encompass origination platform.

News organizations have the right to reuse this data, provided that Ellie Mae, Inc. is credited as the source.

About Ellie Mae

Ellie Mae (NYSE:ELLI) 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 EllieMae.com or call 877.355.4362 to learn more.


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

Alexandra Gardell Kreuter
(646) 428-0618

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© 2017 Ellie Mae, Inc. Ellie Mae®, Encompass®, AllRegs®, 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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