The number of individuals who were delinquent on their home mortgages rose in the third quarter, a new survey reveals.
Credit bureau TransUnion reports that between July and September of this year, the national mortgage delinquency rate jumped nearly 6 percent, marking the first time since 2009 that the rate has risen on a quarterly basis.
Tim Martin, group vice president of U.S. housing for the country's third largest credit bureau, said consumers had been consistently paying off their mortgages on time up to this point.
"However, in the third quarter, the consumer was hit with several unanticipated shocks, including the U.S. credit rating downgrade, stock price declines, European debt concerns, stubbornly high unemployment, more downward pressure on home values and low consumer confidence," said Martin.
He added that these things combined to make the financing process less desirable for many consumers. TransUnion still forecasts that mortgage borrower delinquency rates will decrease in 2012.
In the meantime, consumers looking to improve their credit scores should review their financial histories to make sure they're free of marks made improperly or in error. These can unfairly lower individuals' FICO ratings, making them less creditworthy.