Mortgage money's cheap if you can get it

As rates for home loans hit new lows, underwriting remains tight

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Demand for mortgages from homebuyers and homeowners refinancing continues to rise, as rates continue to find new record lows in the wake of the Federal Reserve’s latest round of mortgage bond purchases.

But mortgage underwriting standards — largely dictated by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration — remain tight, and mortgages are difficult to obtain for those with less than sterling credit.