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Mortgage Credit Availability Rises Again

Mortgage credit availability isn't fixed. Depending on current lending standards and loan programs, there will be times when it's easier to get a mortgage and times when it's more difficult. The Mortgage Bankers Association's monthly Mortgage Credit Availability Index tracks whether access to credit is loosening or tightening on a scale where any increase indicates credit availability has grown. In March, the index rose 1.1 percent. It was the third consecutive monthly improvement. Joel Kan, MBA's vice president and deputy chief economist, says the gains were in conventional credit. “Credit availability increased in March, driven by growth in conventional credit,” Kan said. “There were increased offerings of cash-out refinance loan programs across fixed rate and ARM loans, as well as for all occupancy types.” That's good news for potential borrowers. But while credit availability has been improving in recent months, it still remains about 7 percent lower than last year.

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