by Misha Weidman:
Ive been talking to lenders over the last few weeks to get a sense of the credit crunch from their side of the desk. Several were loan officers at big retail banks like Bank of America and Wells Fargo. Others were independent loan brokers who have access to a greater range of loan products because they are not tied to a single bank.
Though there was a range of views on how slow and difficult the home loan business has become, everyone agreed that underwriting standards the rules the banks use to decide whether to lend or not are a world away from where they were just a year ago. Youd better have a stash of cash ready to go for your down payment and your credit score better be impeccable or youll pay dearly for it, if you can qualify at all.
Thats the bad news. The good news is that with the Fed and the Federal government continuing to pump money into the system, mortgage rates are near historical lows and may continue to drop if the banks actually start lending in earnest rather than hoarding cash.
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