It was a little easier to get a mortgage in the fourth quarter of 2015 than in prior years, according to The Housing Finance Policy Center’s latest credit availability index as reported by HousingWire’s Kelsey Ramirez.

After a year of declines, mortgage credit availability increased by 5.6% during the fourth quarter of 2015, according to the report. Despite that, lenders could still afford to risk more. While still remaining in the cautious standards of 2001 to 2003, lenders could take twice the default risk that they are taking now.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac present the easiest way to get a loan, but both government channel and portfolio and private-label securities channels are still at or near record tightness.

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