The Mortgage Bankers Association's monthly Mortgage Credit Availability Index offers prospective home buyers a gauge of how easy or difficult it currently is to get approved for a loan. The index measures whether lending standards are tightening or loosening. When standards tighten, it means borrowers need to have a more secure financial situation than when standards loosen. In November, the index found mortgage credit was more available than it was the month before. That means borrowers should have an easier time getting a loan. Joel Kan says it was the index's first improvement in months. “Credit availability increased slightly in November, the first increase in nine months as lenders continued to navigate a challenging environment brought on by higher rates and a much slower housing market,” Kan said. According to Kan, jumbo loans saw big gains, but most of the improvement can be credited to an increase in ARM loan programs offered by lenders.
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