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Mortgage Credit Availability Up Slightly

Mortgage lending standards loosened slightly in June, according to the ""Mortgage Bankers Association's"":http://mbaa.org/default.htm (MBA) Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI).

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The index, which analyzes data from ""AllRegs"":http://www.allregs.com/ Market Clarity, increased to 109.8, a gain of nearly 1 percent over May. Lower MCAI values indicate a tightening in lending standards, while higher index values are indicative of loosening credit.

""The increase to the MCAI was primarily driven by a small uptick in the number of products which offer a cash-out feature. There were also small increases in the number of jumbo, investor, and higher LTV [loan-to-value ratio] offerings,"" the association said in a release.

The index is calculated using several factors related to borrower eligibility, including credit score, loan type, LTV, and others. Its base period and value is 100, established March 31, 2012. If the index had been tracked in 2007, it would have been roughly 800, according to MBA.

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