Just last week we reported that Wells Fargo was reintroducing 3% down mortgages on its own, without going through the FHA. The reason we said, was that due to Wells' mortgage origination pipeline drying up, the bank was desperate to find new and innovative ways to boost lending.
Now we have direct confirmation that indeed Wells Fargo is desperate, and the plan to boost mortgage lending is to... drum roll... lure millennials out of the comfort of their parents home and into a house of their own.
The fact that millennials don't make much money and are drowning in debt apparently doesn't bother Franklin Codel, head of home lending for the bank.
Codel said Wells Fargo is now in a position to capitalize on the "very important" trend of millennials who have been unable or unwilling to buy property. "Demographics, ultimately, will win out and many of these folks will start families and want to become homeowners." said Codel, according to the Financial Times.
The target for Codel is understandable, with more millennials living at home today than at any other point in time since the great depression it's easy to see what would drive that discussion.
However, what shouldn't be forgotten is the fact that there is a reason that millennials are living at home, often times rent free. Millennials are making less money than prior generations, and student loan debt is so burdensome that it doesn't make it feasible to do otherwise.
Self-Help Ventures Fund decided to partner with Wells Fargo on insuring the 3% down mortgage program - let's hope $1.6 billion in assets is enough to cover what the bank is about to get into, otherwise another taxpayer bailout is going to be needed.