Mortgage Credit Availability Rises for Fourth Straight Month

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Mortgage credit availability grew for the fourth consecutive month in December, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported.

The MBA's Mortgage Credit Availability Index increased 0.6% to 175.2 in December. An uptick in the index reflects looser credit standards.

"Credit availability was up for the fourth consecutive month in December driven by jumbo loan programs as well as loan programs for borrowers with lower credit scores and low down payments," Lynn Fisher, MBA's vice president of research and economics, said in a news release Thursday.

The jumbo MCAI rose by 1.3% over the month. The index's other three components expanded as well. The conventional MCAI rose 0.7%, while the government MCAI increased 0.6% and the conforming MCAI lifted 0.04%.

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