Mortgage Credit Availability Loosened in August: MBA

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Mortgage credit availability loosened in August as lenders have more jumbo loan products and added loans for borrowers with less-sterling credit, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The Mortgage Credit Availability Index rose 0.5% to 126.1 in August. An increase indicates a loosening of lending standards; a decrease indicates a tightening of them. The availability of mortgage credit has improved in eight of the past nine months.

"While much of the loosening has been for jumbo loan products, the availability of conforming conventional mortgage credit has also somewhat increased, including for mortgages with higher loan-to-value ratios and borrowers with lower credit scores," Mike Fratantoni, chief economist, said in a Thursday news release.

The jumbo MCAI reported the highest increase, with a 0.7% rise on a monthly basis. The conventional MCAI rose 0.5%, the government MCAI rose 0.4% and the conforming MCAI rose 0.3%.

The MBA generates the MCAI index by looking at loan program data from Ellie Mae's AllRegs Market Clarity product. In March 2012, MCAI was benchmarked to 100.

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