The mortgage industry is continuously changing each and every day and so are lending standards. Borrowing money to become a future homeowner is now becoming feasible for more people.

Every quarter, the Federal Reserve conducts a survey for its member banks in order to gauge supply and demand of loans for businesses and American households. The Reserve wants to know if banks’ prime mortgage guidelines are becoming tougher, easier or just leveling out as is.  Within the last quarter of 2011, it was found that banks did not toughen up much. Daily – The Mortgage Reports stated that approximately 94 percent of banks did not make any changes in their mortgage guidelines and six percent loosened them.


Since banks have loosened (or stayed as is) instead of tightening up, this indicates that 2012 will be a year of homes regaining value and the home purchasing marketing heating up. However, the mortgage standards today do require higher minimum down payments (in many cases). Additionally, banks are requiring higher incomes to offset debts and minimum FICO score thresholds are on the upward climb.

There are programs that are trending toward looser standards, such as the HARP 2, which aims to help current underwater homeowners. The HARP 2 operates on the guidelines that everyone becomes approved without having to review employment and income checks, credit checks or appraisals. If an individual or family is willing to take on a fixed-rate loan, there is no maximum loan-to-value.

With financial professionals – like the St. Louis mortgage lenders at USA Mortgage – approving more loans, you can rest easy knowing the economy is improving. Banks and mortgage companies in St. Louis – and across the U.S. – are feeling more confident in risk taking as we are seeing growth in the housing market. This also means that mortgage rates are going to rise since they are closely tied to post-recession recovery. Therefore, avoid waiting too long to refinance your home or apply for your very first loan to become a homeowner.

At USA Mortgage, our process is smooth, effective and we offer the lowest prices to our clients. You have the opportunity to work one-on-one with our St. Louis mortgage experts from start to finish and become that much closer to stepping into your dream home. Contact us today for more information on how to get started