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Mortgage Access Rose only for Government Loans in March

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Despite an easing of government loan access, the overall availability of mortgage credit dipped slightly in March the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said on Thursday.  Credit access is measured by the MBA on its Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI) and it was at 123.5 in March, a decline of 0.2 percent compared to the previous month.  A decline in the MCAI indicates that lending standards are tightening, while increases in the index are indicative of loosening credit.

The MCAI has four component indices based on the population of loan programs they measure; the Government MCAI (FHA, VA, and USDA), Conventional (non-government), Jumbo, and Conforming which examines loan programs that fall under conforming loan limits.  Of the four component indices, the Government MCAI saw the greatest loosening (up 0.9 percent) over the month while the Conventional MCAI saw the most tightening (down 1.6 percent). The Jumbo MCAI decreased 0.2 percent, while the Conforming MCAI decreased 0.4 percent over the month.

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