Some consumers find mortgages easier to obtain

In the past several years, it has not been easy for individuals with good credit to get a mortgage, let alone those with a troubled borrowing history. Though interest rates remain low, banks have been tight-fisted with the loans they give out, likely in response to the housing market crash that still weighs heavily on lender's minds.

However, it is possible that conditions are changing. In Fannie Mae's January 2014 National Housing Survey, 52 percent of respondents said that it would be easy for them to get a mortgage. According to Realtor Magazine, this is the first time positive responses to the survey have passed 50 percent.

"The gradual upward trend in this indicator during the last few months bodes well for the housing recovery and may be contributing to this month's increase in consumers' intention to buy rather than rent their next home," Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae's chief economist, told the news source. "The dip in overall home-price expectations, though notable, is consistent with our view of moderating home-price gains this year from a robust pace last year, while positive trends in perceptions about the economy and personal finances over the next year support our view of stronger growth in the broader economy."

It is certainly possible that an easing of credit could lead to a virtuous cycle, in which would-be borrowers become more confident and seek to explore their credit options. However, this does not mean lenders should not remain cautious. By using credit risk assessment software, banks can determine which of their customers is a safe bet.

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