Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Easier Homeowner Credit Compelling Wells Fargo

U.S. banks are easing credit standards in search of a safe and profitable middle ground after an era of reckless home lending gave way to the stiffest rules in decades, putting a damper on the housing recovery.

Wells Fargo & Co., the biggest U.S. home lender, two weeks ago cut its minimum credit score for borrowers of Fannie Mae-and Freddie Mac-backed loans to 620 from 660. The step followed moves by smaller lenders, such as the U.S. unit of Canada’s Toronto-Dominion Bank, which lowered down payments to 3 percent without requiring mortgage insurance for some loans.