Mortgages Cheap But Rules Strict

July 11, 2011  |  

(Wall Street Journal) — With interest rates near rock bottom and home prices down, this ought to be a great time to buy a home. But for most people, it’s a lousy time to get a mortgage.  Years after the collapse of the real-estate market and resulting financial crisis, it takes nearly pristine credit scores and hefty down payments to get the best rates.  “Since 2009, credit has become a lot tighter,” says Greg Reiter, who follows mortgage-backed bonds at RBS Global Banking & Markets.  For borrowers, this highlights the need to pay close attention to credit scores. New rules unveiled last week should make it easier for consumers to see how their credit scores affect the interest rates they pay.

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