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Higher Mortgage Rates May Mean Easier Credit
Diana Olick / CNBC / August 5, 2013
As mortgage rates rise and refinancings fall dramatically, banks are in search of new business. That, in turn, has them easing lending standards for some borrowers, according to a new monthly survey from the Mortgage Bankers Association.
Credit availability rose 2 percent in July and is up 3 percent from May, when interest rates began their climb, according to the MBA index.
“The increase was primarily driven by increases in product offerings that allow cash-out refinancing, and some increase in offerings for borrowers with higher LTVs, or lower credit scores,” according to the report.
(Read more: Mortgage delinquencies suddenly spike)
It is likely no coincidence that standards are easing as rates rise and mortgage applications fall. Total mortgage applications were down 47 percent last week from a year ago. Refinances, which had been the banks bread and butter during the housing crash, are down 59 percent from a year ago. Applications to purchase a home are up just 5 percent.