The Mortgage Bankers Association credited an increase in the number of jumbo adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) programs in July for a slight increase in its Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI).  The index, which analyzes data from the AllRegs® Market Clarity® product, increased from 115.8 in June to 116.4 in July.

A decline in the MCAI, which was benchmarked to 100 in March 2012, indicates a tightening in lending standards.  An increase is indicative of credit loosening. 

MBA said the increase was many due to many investors adding new jumbo hybrid ARM products including 5/1, 7/1, 10/1, and in some cases 3/1 loans.  There was also increased availability of high balance FHA and VA loan programs and some slight easing in lender criteria for several programs which affected acceptable minimum credit scores and maximum loan-to-value ratios, especially for FHA and VA loans.