Credit standards tighten in February

by Francis Monfort12 Mar 2018

Credit standards tightened in February from January, according to a report from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).

The Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI) declined 1.2% to 180.7 during the month. The index analyzes data from Ellie Mae’s AllRegs Market Clarity tool. An increase in the index would indicate loosening lending standards.

"Credit availability fell in February by 1.2%, led downwards by a decline in conventional offerings,” MBA Vice President of Research and Economics Lynn Fisher said. “A change in program offerings from a single large investor in the conventional space was responsible for much of the net decline. The decline in February returned the jumbo component index to levels just above year-end levels, and the conforming component index to levels just above last October. The government component index continued along the same modest downward trajectory that it has been on for nearly a year.”

All index components recorded declines during the month. The jumbo MCAI declined the most at 2.8%, with the conventional MCAI following with a 2.5% decrease. The conforming MCAI fell 2.1%, while the government MCAI slipped only 0.2%.

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