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Why it’s gotten so hard for many people to get a mortgage

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Lenders who are only selecting borrowers with the very best credit scores could be keeping millions of potentially worthy homeowners out of the housing market, says the Urban Institute.

While the days of “NINJA loans” (no income, no job, no assets) are for the most part gone from the American mortgage marketplace, at least one housing think tank says the pendulum has now swung too far in the other direction and made it harder for many Americans to get a mortgage.

According to an analysis released in August from the Washington, D.C.-based Urban Institute, which “offers solutions through economic and social policy research,” the pool of mortgage loans made between 2011 and 2015 have even lower default rates than the more “normal” lending period of 1999 to 2003, when less than 2% of the loans defaulted after 10 years.

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