If you want to be approved for a mortgage, you have to qualify. Which means, if you have too much debt, too little income, or bad credit, you may not be able to get a loan. Put simply, you have to have your finances in order, if you hope to borrow hundreds of thousands of dollars. But the standards lenders use to determine whether or not you're qualified aren't fixed. Sometimes they're more lenient than others. That's why the Mortgage Bankers Association tracks mortgage credit availability. Their monthly index determines whether access to credit is loosening or tightening. Any increase means potential borrowers will have an easier time getting approved for a mortgage, while a decline means standards have gotten stricter. In August, the index increased 3.9 percent. Joel Kan, MBA's associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting, says availability increased across the board. “Credit availability increased in August, driven by significant activity across all indexes,” Kan said. “Of note, jumbo credit availability increased 9 percent to its highest level since March 2020.” Conforming credit availability was up 5.1 percent.