- Huntington Bank launched a new home-lending product aimed at serving borrowers from under-resourced communities, the Columbus, Ohio-based bank announced last week.
- The product, called Huntington Home for Good, aims to increase mortgage-lending options by modifying eligible credit criteria. The product features expanded use of alternative credit, debt evaluation flexibility, low down payment requirements and higher debt-to-income limits, the bank said. Huntington will also offer closing cost assistance for all borrowers who qualify for the product, the bank said.
- The new product aligns with the bank’s five-year Strategic Community Plan, a more than $40 billion effort the lender launched in 2021 to address social, racial, environmental and economic inequities in the regions where it operates, Huntington said.
"Huntington Bank's Home for Good program is a direct reflection of our ongoing commitment to providing equal economic opportunity and access to all," Brant Standridge, president of Huntington’s consumer and business bank, said in a statement. "We believe Home for Good will help provide equitable access to credit for people who may have encountered barriers to fulfilling their dreams of homeownership. Additionally, it creates an avenue of transferring wealth to succeeding generations, which is important to many consumers."
Huntington plans to introduce the product in Detroit and select markets in Illinois and Wisconsin.
The new program comes as some of the nation’s largest banks have stepped back from home lending.
Wells Fargo, once a giant in the mortgage lending industry, announced plans last month to streamline its home-lending business to focus on existing customers and nonwhite communities.
The San Francisco-based bank and several other large lenders have initiated layoffs to their mortgage units over the past year, as high interest rates continue to quell demand for home loans.
Regional lenders like Huntington, however, appear eager to execute strategic deals as others step back.
Huntington in November acquired PhysicianLoans, a Columbus-based mortgage lender that offers home loans to doctors.
The deal furthers the bank’s goal of growing its Practice Finance business, a specialty lending offering that provides subject-matter expertise to dentists, veterinarians and medical doctors who are also private-practice owners, the bank said.
San Antonio-based Frost Bank is another regional lender betting on the mortgage market. The $52.9 billion-asset bank is returning to home lending after exiting the space more than 20 years ago.