Ellie Mae: Mortgage credit continues to ease

Whether lenders are actually relaxing standards remains subject to debate

The average FICO credit score for mortgages approved in March was down slightly from a year ago, a sign lenders are continuing to ease up on underwriting, according to a report from mortgage origination software company Ellie Mae Inc.

Not everyone agrees that mortgage credit is easing. Jonathan Miller, president and CEO of real estate appraisal and consulting firm Miller Samuel Inc., noted that Ellie Mae’s findings come from a sampling of only about 20 percent of all loan originations.