December Mortgage Credit Availability Hits 8-Month High

Mortgage credit availability reached its highest level in eight months, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported Tuesday.

The MBA Mortgage Credit Availability Index rose by 0.8 percent to 125.9 in December—the fifth increase in the past six months to its highest level since last May. The Conventional MCAI increased 0.8 percent, while the Government MCAI increased by 0.7 percent. Of the component indices of the Conventional MCAI, the Jumbo MCAI increased by 0.6 percent, and the Conforming MCAI rose by 1.1 percent.

“Credit supply increased in December, with growth across both conventional and government segments of the market,” said Joel Kan, MBA Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “December’s growth was driven by more ARM and lower credit score loan programs, which was likely due to a combination of the rising rate environment and affordability challenges. Lenders expanded offerings to qualified borrowers who were the most impacted by these market conditions. Additionally, there was an increase in government streamline refinance programs to aid borrowers still looking to refinance before rates rise further.”

Kan noted despite reaching an eight-month high, the Index remains 30 percent below its pre-pandemic level. “The overall supply of mortgage credit only grew around 3 percent compared the same month a year ago, with a 34 percent increase in jumbo credit availability contributing to most of that growth,” he said. “Government credit supply, as well as conforming credit, saw tightening last year.”

The report analyzes data from Ellie Mae’s 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