Some home buyers will have a harder time finding loans next spring because a major government-sponsored mortgage buyer is tightening its standards.
The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., known as Freddie Mac, said Wednesday that after March 31 it will stop buying two types of mortgages: adjustable-rate loans with less than a 10 percent down payment and low-documentation loans.
The rule changes come as a growing number of lenders are tightening credit terms on a variety of loans, creating what some borrowers say is a credit crunch.
In addition, after Jan. 2, Freddie Mac will more closely scrutinize its purchases of loans originated by mortgage brokers and other third parties working for lenders.
The change on low-down-payment, adjustable-rate mortgages will pinch first-time home buyers the most, consumer advocates and economists say. The restriction on low-documentation mortgages affects mostly buyers moving up to more expensive homes.