Banks continue to loosen their grip on lending, with standards easing for the fifth consecutive month in July, the Mortgage Bankers Association claims in a new report.

The uptick in lending was driven by an increase in product offerings. Borrowers found themselves obtaining cash-out refinancing in some cases, while borrowers with higher loan-to-values and weak credit scores experienced improved access to credit.

According to the MBA’s Mortgage Credit Availability Index report, which analyzes data from AllRegs Market Clarity product, the MCAI escalated to an index score of 112.3 in July, rising 2.2% from 109.81 in June.

The index is calculated using credit scores, loan types and LTV ratios.

Although the index is modestly above the benchmarked score of 100, it is significantly below lending standards set in 2007, which, if tracked, would have been roughly 800. 

MCAI july chart

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