Lending Guidelines

Mortgage Lending Starts To Show Signs Of A Thaw

Getting approved for a home loan isn’t getting easier, but it doesn’t appear to be getting much more difficult, either.

In its quarterly survey to member banks, the Federal Reserve asked senior bank loan officers whether “prime” residential mortgage guidelines had tightened in the last 3 months.

Nearly 50 percent of banks said guidelines tightened last quarter, a much lower figure than during all of 2008 and a signal that mortgage lending may be turning a corner.

Guidelines remain restrictive, however.

Versus 18 months ago, lenders subject would-be borrowers to all of the following:

  • Higher minimum credit score thresholds
  • Larger minimum downpayments
  • Lower debt-to-income requirements
  • Mandatory fees based on certain loan traits

In addition, the availability of subordinate financing has all but disappeared when a home’s loan-to-value exceeds 80 percent.

Combined, these changes preclude a lot of Americans from getting access to today’s low rates but that could change in the coming months if the Fed’s reported trend continues.

Some experts believe that credit tightening started the recession. Credit loosening, therefore, could help lead us out.

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James K Barath, CMPS®

James K Barath is a Certified Mortgage Planning Specialist®, Certified FICO® Professional, Certified Military Housing Specialist® and your FHA Home Loan Expert. He is also a graduate of Purdue University, The CMPS Institute, Dale Carnegie Human Relations Course & Napoleon Hill Foundation's PMA Science of Success Class. It's your home and your future. It's his profession and his passion. He is ready to work for your best interest. Contact James for your FREE Home Loan Approval !  His Motto: I Facilitate the American Dream Through Responsible Mortgage Lending and Financial Literacy!

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