New rules make it harder to get a mortgage, but protect consumers more

The 30-year mortgage was largely a response to the Great Depression and an effort to make home loans more affordable.

You may find it harder to get a mortgage in this new year.  The rules are more strict in  an effort by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to make the housing market safer for consumers. Carmen Wong Ulrich, host of Marketplace Money has been tracking these new mortgage rules. 

"Now in terms of mortgages that you can get backed by the FHA, they cannot have any of these interest-only risky mortgages," Wong Ulrich says. "Those loan options don't exist. Your debt load cannot exceed 43 percent of your gross monthly income. Now, lenders can make exceptions to that one, but there are also some transparency rules. Just as in credit cards, now lenders have to spell out your mortgage loud and clear."

To hear more about the new mortgage rules, click the audio player above.

About the author

Carmen Wong Ulrich is the former host of Marketplace Money, APM’s weekend personal finance program.
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Harder? More like impossible. I am on my second mortgage application to purchase a home for my mother, and even though I'm putting down 45%, have impeccable credit, no other debt, employed full-time, etc. I fear that this second application is going to be denied as well. There have been a lot of requests for information (including having to do with the seller's payment history on their mortgage) which defy logic. If it's this hard for me, I can't imagine what it's like for those with blemishes or irregular income streams.

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