With the oldest turning 26 this year, most Gen Z’ers aren’t quite ready for homeownership — but a burgeoning set of this young generation plans to buy in the next few months, NFM Lending found.

How can lenders target and capture the latter? We can sum up the most effective strategy with one word: Influencers.

In the last decade, social media influencers revolutionized how companies reach their target audiences. In return, this spawned a new generation of consumers who are too savvy for traditional marketing methods.

Gen Z’ers view their favorite content creators as trusted peers and expect products to be authentic and personalized to their individual needs. They prefer to receive information through videos, on apps like YouTube and TikTok.

While TikTok isn’t yet the most popular social media platform, with 1 billion monthly active users globally compared to Facebook’s 3 billion, it’s growing, garnering the second-highest number of downloads of any non-gaming app in January 2021 with 62 million.

Sixty percent of the app’s users are Gen Z, providing a well-stocked pool of potential new loan applicants. To tap into it, NFM Lending launched an in-house influencer division in January 2022, led in part by Scott Betley, otherwise known as @ThatMortgageGuy on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.

In just a year and a half since, NFM Lending expanded to 16 in-house influencers, creating increasingly popular informative and entertaining videos.

Betley grew his fanbase to more than 1 million followers across all platforms as of this post’s publish date as a testament to their efficacy. He’s clocked more than 10 million views to his most popular videos — several of which compare the plight of Gen Z’ers saving for down payments to Boomers enjoying homes they bought affordably in the 1980s.

One of the talented creators recruited for NFM’s in-house influencer team is Jordan Nutter, aka @ANutterHomeLoan, whose satirical yet educational posts elicit genuine belly laughs. Jordan has over 240k followers across all platforms and hundreds of thousands of views on her videos. She is best known for her phone call reenactments inspired by real-life conversations with her clients. Jordan has immersed herself in the division’s success and was promoted to become its Vice President earlier this year.

How does NFM’s strategy stand out from other mortgage companies? NFM Lending takes its strategy a step further than its competitors. When visiting an influencer’s profile, users are guided to an optional intake form where they can share their financial statuses, contact information and how soon they plan to buy.

“It’s the roadmap to their homebuying journey,” NFM Lending Managing Director Gregory Sher explains. “The ‘Timeframe to Purchase’ field sets the clock in motion and allows us to create workflows to help the consumer accomplish their goal.”

NFM Lending’s clever method is the mouth of a funnel that narrows as it nurtures users deeper into the mortgage landscape. From 30.7 million TikTok views from Gen Z users in July 2023 (up 21.8% from June), NFM Influencers generated 1,401 leads. These became 24 prequalification applications and, finally, 20 loan originations. Of these leads, 941 asked for a real estate agent introduction.

Beyond creating leads and loan applications, the intake form provides data sets that offer unique insights into the behaviors and circumstances of Gen Z homebuyers.

Based on the numbers collected between July 2021 and 2023, we learned that:

Nearly all Gen Z respondents currently rent and plan to own 

NFM Lending data confirms that most of this younger generation is headed toward homeownership for the first time. Of the 2,191 Gen Z’ers who shared their current ownership through our intake form in that timeframe, 93.9% were renters. Similarly, 99.4% of 2,575 said they’d use their mortgages to buy homes, rather than to refinance or build.

But with rents at record highs, we’re in a historically difficult time for renters to save for down payments. In July 2023, the national median rent was $2,038, which equals a whopping 75% of Gen Z’s median income of $32,500. That makes it especially tough for them to set aside piles of cash, but to put 20% down for the median U.S. home price of $416,100, they’d need to stack up $83,220.

Of 922 respondents who revealed the value of their assets, including savings, to NFM Lending, just 5.3% had more than $40,000. Most had less than $10,000 (70.5%) and the rest had $10,000-$40,000 (24.2%).

Fortunately, down payment assistance programs can help, as can mortgage products that require less than 20% down. Take, for example, the NFM Zero Down Flex, which has no income cap and offers 100% financing for conventional loans.

And as Gen Z learns to navigate their unique circumstances, a burgeoning set is ready to buy.

One-third of Gen Z respondents expect to buy in 3-6 months

While 87% of respondents to a Gen Z Planet study said they’d love to own homes one day, the dream feels out of reach for many. A Freddie Mac survey found that 34% of Gen Z’ers worry they’ll never afford to buy places of their own, with insufficient credit history, lack of stable income and student loan debt cited as their primary obstacles.

And yet, of the 1,920 Gen Z’ers who shared with NFM Lending how soon they plan to buy homes:

    • 27.1% said they expect to in 3-6 months

    • 25.9% selected 1-3 months

    •  23.9% responded 6+ months

    • 23.1% put ASAP

Altogether, 53% of the Gen Z TikTok users who offered their information to NFM Lending planned to buy homes within six months. But does that mean their incomes qualify for mortgage loans? Our data is promising.

Nearly 75% of Gen Z respondents earn $50,000-$150,000

NFM Lending found that most Gen Z respondents made enough money to satisfy lender requirements. Of the 858 respondents who shared their incomes:

    • 74.6% had an annual household income of $50,000-$150,000

    • 23.2% earned less than $50,000

    • 2.2% made more than $150,000

In terms of credit, of 1,129 respondents, 40.7% said they had an Excellent score, while 47.4% reported a Good one. And though nearly 12% admitted to having a low score, data showed that was more likely due to their lack of credit than being irresponsible with payments.

“In other words, they need more open trade lines such as credit cards that show a good pay history,” Sher says.

Being that they’re just setting off in their adulthood, it’s understandable that Gen Z’ers need some guidance while establishing themselves financially.

91.8% of Gen Z respondents asked for a real estate agent introduction

As first-time homebuyers, this young generation could use assistance navigating the housing market.

Traditionally, the path to homeownership involved finding a real estate agent who recommended a lender from their carefully curated Rolodex. Lately, however, that sequence started to flip. Many homebuyers today start off by shopping for a lender to see which loans they qualify for.

Through its intake form, NFM Lending reaches buyers in the infancy stage of their journeys, long before they’re ready to meet with a real estate agent. Of the respondents who shared their status of hiring a pro for their search, 84.1% of 2,178 said they didn’t yet have an agent and 91.8% of 756 respondents welcomed an introduction to one.

This change in the process allows loan officers to send prepped homebuyers to real estate agents with warm handoffs. They can source their personal directories and the roster of talented folks at  Clever Real Estate, an NFM Lending partner, to suggest the pro that might work best with each buyer.

However, it also gives loan officers a new level of responsibility. They must effectively explain terms and concepts, like credit history and down payment assistance, to buyers who may be new to hearing them.

“As a result of where Gen Z’ers are in the process — super early — working with a lender that excels in financial literacy has never been more important,” Sher notes.

Indeed, most Gen Z’ers aren’t quite ready to buy their first homes, but with its influencer strategy and intake form, NFM Lending is prepared to support them when they are. In the meantime, our data provides unique insights to inform the greater mortgage industry on the best ways to do so. 

Click to learn more about The Creator Collective (NFM Lending’s Influencer Division) or to apply for a home loan.

Buying your first home is exciting, but it can also be stressful if you’re unfamiliar with the process. Here are some tips to help first-time homebuyers prepare for and breeze through the homebuying experience.

1) Save for a Down Payment

Saving for a down payment on a home is essential for homebuyers who will be applying for a mortgage. Many mortgage loans require a down payment, and having the money saved will give you more purchasing power. Making a down payment will also reduce the total amount you owe on the mortgage. Putting more money down means you’ll be paying interest on a smaller mortgage loan amount, which will make your monthly payments lower, and save you money over the course of the loan. It’s never too soon to start saving for a down payment.

2) Check Your Credit Reports

Credit is a central part of any loan application process. All lenders, including credit unions and banks, will use an applicant’s credit payment history and credit score to determine that individual’s ability to repay the mortgage loan. The three major credit bureaus (Experian™, Equifax®, and Transunion™) gather information about your credit payment history and use this information to generate your unique credit score. Under Federal law, you are entitled to receive one free copy of your credit report from each credit reporting company every 12 months. Lenders will use your credit information to determine your mortgage loan interest rate. Generally, the higher your credit score, the lower (better) the interest rate you will be offered.

3) Get Pre-Approved to Determine How Much You Can Afford

Getting pre-approved will help you prepare to shop for a home. A pre-approval is a preliminary determination on whether you will likely qualify for a mortgage loan under a lender’s guidelines and the amount of the loan you would qualify for. To get you pre-approved your loan originator will ask you to provide documentation regarding your income, debt and assets. Home sellers will take your offer more seriously if you have a pre-approval letter, as they know you are working with a lender and will likely qualify for a mortgage.

4) Work with a Real Estate Agent to Find Your Home

While many homes are available for sale by owner, working with a professional real estate agent or a licensed Realtor® can save you time and energy, and simplify the homebuying process. It is important to work with a real estate professional with whom you feel completely comfortable. Ask friends and neighbors for referrals. Your agent will help you focus on seeing homes that are most likely to meet your search criteria. And, when you find a home you’d like to buy, your agent will make the offer and negotiate the price on your behalf.

5) Apply for a Mortgage

When a home seller accepts your offer, it’s time to contact your loan originator to move forward with your financing. They will discuss the loan options that work best for you. Your financial details plus the home price and other information will be submitted for processing and underwriting. The loan process can take some time, so be patient and trust that your experienced loan originator is doing everything possible to make the process go as smoothly as possible to get you to the closing table!

We’re here to help you get the answers you need about buying your home.

If you have any questions about the home buying process, contact one of our licensed Mortgage Loan Originators. If you are ready to begin t­­he home buying process, click here to get started!

NFM Lending is not a Credit Repair Company. You should consult with a Credit Repair Company to determine what may be best for your individual needs. The pre-approval may be issued before or after a home is found. A pre-approval is an initial verification that you have the income and assets to afford a home up to a certain amount. This means we have pulled credit, collected documents from you, verified assets, submitted your file to processing and underwriting, ordered verification of rent and employment, completed an analysis of credit, debt ratio and assets, and issued the pre-approval.

Updated: 10/8/2020

Our new website has launched and NFM lending has a fresh, new look. The change to our brand reflects one of our core values to remain innovative and forward-thinking.

While our brand has evolved, everything else remains the same: our people and our commitment to providing our customers and business partners with exceptional home lending service.

We look forward to continuing to serve our communities with home lending solutions! Please connect with us on social media for ongoing updates about the company and great homeowner tips.

NFM Lending

Check out our new commercial!

Original Post: 

NFM Lending will soon have a new logo and website. The change to our brand reflects one of our core values to remain innovative and forward-thinking.

While our brand is evolving, everything else will remain the same: our people and our commitment to providing our customers and business partners with exceptional home lending service.

If you’d like to be notified when the new website is live, please connect with us on social media. We’ll be posting updates there and you can message us anytime.

We look forward to continuing to serve our communities with home lending solutions!

NFM Lending

A Veterans Affairs (VA) loan allows you to buy your home with 100% financing or no down payment.  However, there still will be other costs associated with the loan. You most likely still will need an earnest money deposit and closing costs to cover.  You may be able to get the seller to cover some of the closing costs during settlement, up to 4% for a VA loan. When buying a home using VA financing, closing costs cannot be rolled into the loan. There are some costs that can be financed such as the VA funding fee.

For first-time home buyers, the VA funding fee ranges from 2.15% to 2.4% of the purchase price. If you are receiving any form of disability from Veterans Affairs, then the funding fee may be waived. The funding fee is based on various loan characteristics. On an Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan, an appraisal is not required, but the lender may require a drive-by-appraisal. Income documentation is not required, but source of income must be verified. On a purchase loan, the sales price cannot exceed the appraised value.

In general, when buying a home using 100% VA financing, the closing costs can range from 3.5% to 5.5% of the purchase price of the home. Closing cost can range from loan origination fees from the lender, credit report cost, appraisal, recordation cost, title fees, and transfer taxes, to name a few. If the 4% in closing cost assistance from the seller doesn’t cover these costs, then the remaining difference is the responsibility of the buyer. Also note, as a new home owner you will want to have some savings available after settlement in case of an emergency, and to pay for any added expenses once you move in, such as moving and purchasing curtains, lawnmowers, appliances, etc.

If you are ready to purchase a home with your VA benefits, keep in mind that there is a difference between down payment and closing cost.

Enjoy your home search and good luck!


Bruce Dorsey is employed by NFM, Inc. as a Mortgage Loan Originator, NMLS #174898. NFM, Inc. is a Veterans Affairs Automatic Lender (659985-00-00) under the trade name NFM Lending. NFM, Inc. is licensed as: Maryland Mortgage Lender (5330) under the trade name NFM Lending. For NFM lending’s complete licensing information, please go to www.nfmlending.com/licensing. NFM, Inc.’s Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS) Company Identifier Number is 2893. NFM, Inc. is not affiliated with, or an agent or division of, a governmental agency or a depository institution. NFM, Inc. is an equal housing lender.

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