Lending for home loans and refinances is easing up. But will it cross the line into dangerous and lax territory again?

After the financial crisis and real estate bust, the pendulum swung from what I call "pulse lending" (if you have a pulse, you get a loan!) to the tightest possible standards. We went through a full freeze for borrowers, even those who were trying to owner occupy, from about late 2007 through early 2010.

But today, that spigot is opening a bit more. One-third of all new mortgage borrowers today have credit scores on the FICO scale of 699 or below, according to respected real estate writer Kenneth Harney. And the average score for Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac refis is down from 746 to 737 in just a month.

Mortgage lending is getting easier again. But I want to point out, we're not repeating history. We're not going back to pulse lending. Loans aren't easy breezy to get, they're just more rational now when it comes to lending decisions.

So if you thought you were redlined because of your credit worthiness, there's hope for you. There's hope for you even if you did a short sale during the real estate bust

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Clark Howard is a consumer expert whose goal is to help you keep more of the money you make. His national radio show and website show you ways to save more, spend less and avoid getting ripped off. View More Articles

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