Banks Tighten Credit Squeeze

Lenders 'raising rates like crazy'
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 3, 2007 4:38 AM CDT
A home is seen for sale, Thursday, June 14, 2007, in Alameda, Calif. Rates on 30-year mortgages rose for a fifth straight week, hitting the highest level in 11 months as prospects dimmed further for possible...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Lenders are cutting credit, tightening standards or raising interest rates to a broader range of borrowers beyond those with weak credit records who qualify for subprime loans, the Wall Street Journal reports. Panic is spreading to a category of mortgages between subprime and prime that often involves borrowers who don't fully document income, or those buying for investment—about 13% of the market.

Lenders are "raising rates like crazy," said one mortgage broker, citing Wells Fargo's 8% charges for a type of prime 30-year fixed-rate loan that was under 7% last week. The squeeze "will further crimp effective demand for housing, and make late summer home sales season even worse than the dismal spring season," said an economist .