“The credit box may be expanding,” says Jonathan Corr, president of Ellie Mae. Since late 2008 lenders have had to drastically tighten their guidelines and restrict the amount of new mortgages they approve. The good news is there are some indicators that show a slight loosening of the belt. The average FICO score on approved mortgages in 2012 was 767 and in February of 2013 the average for that month fell just a little to 761. We also had an improvement on the total percentage of applications approved from January to February of this year from 55% to 56.8%. As the economy starts to regain a portion of its loss, it is likely that the lenders will also let out a notch and loosen their guidelines up just enough to keep things moving forward.
Source: “Encouraging Signs That Mortgage Credit Is Easing,” Inman News (March 26, 2013)