Mortgage lenders relaxing standards as refi business dries up

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Mortgage lenders continued to ease underwriting standards in September as the refi boom fades and lenders become increasingly reliant on business from homebuyers, according to the latest monthly survey by mortgage origination software company Ellie Mae Inc.

Average FICO scores for closed loans dropped to 732, compared with 734 in August and 747 in January. In addition, 31 percent of loans closed in September had FICO scores of less than 700, compared with 17 percent at the same time a year ago.

Purchase mortgages accounted for 58 percent of closed loans, up from 27 percent in January. Source: elliemae.com