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As if rising home prices and stiff competition weren’t enough, homebuyers now face another challenge: Stricter mortgage standards.

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, mortgage loans got harder to come by last month (dropping by about 8.5% from May, in fact). Overall mortgage credit availability is now at its lowest point since September 2020, which “indicates standards are tightening.”

“When mortgage availability drops, it’s harder to get a mortgage,” says Joey Abdullah, managing director of Bellco Home Loans. “Typically, you have to have a higher credit score, sometimes larger down payments or, if you’re refinancing, a higher equity position in the house.”

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Conventional loans are hardest to come by