November Mortgage Credit Dips Slightly

Mortgage credit availability fell for the first time in five months in November, albeit ever so slightly, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported Friday.

The MBA Mortgage Credit Availability Index fell by 0.6 percent to 124.9 in November. The Conventional MCAI increased 1.9 percent, while the Government MCAI decreased by 2.7 percent. Of the component indices of the Conventional MCAI, the Jumbo MCAI increased by 3.0 percent, while the Conforming MCAI rose by 0.2 percent.

“Credit availability in November was down slightly, even as the housing market continues to thrive amidst the improving job market,” said Joel Kan, MBA Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “However, the picture was different depending on the market segment. An increase in conventional credit availability was offset by a decrease in government credit, as lenders reduced their offerings of government loan programs with lower credit scores, as well as those for investment homes. Credit supply for jumbo loans increased for the fifth straight month.”

Kan noted lenders scaled back on jumbo supply at the onset of the pandemic, but even with the recent growth in credit availability, the jumbo index remains more than 40 percent below February 2020 levels. “As home-price growth continues, and mortgage rates creep higher, increased credit availability is needed for qualified borrowers looking to purchase a home – especially for first-time homebuyers, who rely heavily on government mortgage programs,” he said.     

The report analyzes data from the ICE Mortgage Technology AllRegs® Market Clarity® business information tool. A decline in the MCAI indicates that lending standards are tightening, while increases in the index are indicative of loosening credit. The index was benchmarked to 100 in March 2012.

About the Mortgage Credit Availability Index

The MCAI provides the only standardized quantitative index solely focused on mortgage credit.

The MCAI is calculated using several factors related to borrower eligibility (credit score, loan type, loan-to-value ratio, etc.). These metrics and underwriting criteria for more than 95 lenders/investors are combined by MBA using data made available via the AllRegs Market Clarity product and a proprietary formula derived by MBA to calculate the MCAI, a summary measure which indicates the availability of mortgage credit at a point in time. Base period and values for total index is March 31, 2012=100; Conventional March 31, 2012=73.5; Government March 31, 2012=183.5.

To learn more about the ICE Mortgage Technology AllRegs Market Clarity platform, visit For more information on the Mortgage Credit Availability Index, including Methodology, Frequently Asked Questions and other helpful resources, visit or contact