Tips on Surviving a Troubled Mortgage Market

Even credit-worthy borrowers are likely to feel the effects of the troubled mortgage market. Knight Kiplinger, editor-in-chief of Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine, says that many borrowers will have the best luck if they use local institutions, ones they have a relationship with already, for loans.

And for those looking to get into the home market, Kiplinger tells NPR's Renee Montagne, it depends on the local market. And, he says, "Mortgage money is still under 7 percent" — a benchmark for a fair loan rate. But, he notes, buyers can look for a good value, and push for a bargain, on their homes.

One development that has been seen as a sign that the mortgage fallout could extend beyond the subprime market is the recent tightening of criteria for jumbo loans — or mortgages for more than $417,000.

"Somebody seeking a jumbo mortgage who has a jumbo salary will be fine," Kiplinger said. "It's only people whose incomes were not proportional to the size of mortgage that they were seeking who are out of the market right now."

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