Buyers hurt by tougher credit scores

More lender flexibility needed for real loan growth

Maybe it's just the point in our lives, but it seems that the availability of home mortgage money mirrors that of college tuition: There are some terrific programs for the needy, the wealthy always find a way, but those in the huge middle category often have few options. Some longtime homeowners and perfectly qualified "new-generation" buyers who have been on the sidelines are having extreme difficulty in getting financing -- or refinancing their present loan. The pendulum has now swung from "no loan ever rejected" to "no loan good enough for funding." The new "risk-based pricing" introduced by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is a step in the wrong direction. In case you missed it, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- the two biggest players in the secondary mortgage market -- recently announced they would add extra fees to offset "higher risks" and losses associated with certain credit scores and loan programs. Credit scores, which are ...