For most home buyers, applying for a mortgage is step one. You aren't going to get very far in the home buying process without first confirming that you'll be able to get a loan. But while your financial stability, income, and history has a lot to do with whether you're ultimately approved to borrow, those aren't the only determining factors. Mortgage credit availability is another. Put simply, lending standards aren't fixed.
There are times when it's easier to get a mortgage and times when it's more difficult. That's why the Mortgage Bankers Association keeps a monthly measure of whether standards are tightening or loosening. It's a useful look at what prospective borrowers can expect when applying for a loan. According to the MBA's most recent Mortgage Credit Availability Index, credit loosened in September, making it a little easier on borrowers.
Joel Kan, MBA's vice president and deputy chief economist, says lenders are offering more options to buyers facing elevated rates. “Credit availability increased slightly in September, as lenders increased their loan offerings marginally to meet the changing needs of borrowers who are facing higher mortgage rates,” Kan said. “There were more loan programs for ARM loans for borrowers seeking lower initial monthly payments and also some increases in non-QM product offerings.”