Record number of mortgage loan applications processed in 2020; APRs, credit scores and average income also set records


COLUMBIA, SC – The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs (SCDCA) is releasing its Mortgage Journal 2020 report and 10-year snapshot. As the tenth annual report, it compares data on mortgage applications received from brokers and approved lenders during the 2011 to 2020 calendar years.

Mortgage brokers and lenders processed 265,651 applications in 2020, a record and substantial increase from 2019 (163,511), 2018 (131,309) and 2017 (135,323). The average APR was 3.32%, the lowest on record. The low rates have apparently prompted more homeowners to refinance with this loan target exceeding home purchases for the first time since 2012, when the APR averaged 3.9%. The average credit score of borrowers reached 733, the highest on record. The average borrower’s income also hit a record high of $ 94,273, almost $ 40,000 more than reported in 2011 ($ 56,116).

Other highlights include:

  • The refusals of candidates are decreasing. Only 15.3% of requests were refused in 2020. This is the lowest rate on record and is part of a downward trend that began in 2017. The highest reported was 38.6% in 2011.
  • The average value of goods is increasing. The average estimated value of properties in 2020 reached $ 292,965, an increase of over $ 100,000 from 2011 ($ 190,034).
  • Loan terms are increasing. Borrowers opted for longer terms in 2020, with 90% choosing a 20-30 year mortgage. This number has steadily increased over the past decade. Only 77.8% of consumers chose this loan term in 2011.

The full 2020 Mortgage Journal report and 10-year snapshot can be found here.

Are you considering refinancing or buying a home? SCDCA encourages consumers to start a business before signing on the dotted line. Consumers should visit the SCDCA website for links to licensing agencies and to verify complaints. Just go to and click on “How do I…” then “Business background? ”


The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs works to protect consumers from market inequalities through advocacy, complaint mediation, enforcement, and education. To file a complaint or get information on consumer issues, visit or call toll free 1 (800) 922-1594.


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