How tight are loans?

Lenders usually don't announce the fact that they're tightening their lending criteria but analysts are unanimous in saying that this is happening.

"We are definitely seeing lenders tightening up their lending standards and lending criteria," says Mark Hewitt, the general manager of sales and operations with Australian Finance Group, which describes itself as Australia's largest mortgage broker.

"In the credit crunch, with the difficulty of raising money, lenders are looking for assets to be much cleaner."

That said, Paul Dowling, the principal analyst with banking research firm East & Partners, says talk of "credit rationing" is overstating things.

"There's a general move towards more conservative lending but I wouldn't quite describe it as credit rationing," he says.

"The banks have money to lend - it's a question of the [borrower's] credit profile and the [profit] margin."

Observers say all lenders are tidying up their credit processes to varying degrees, with the most marked changes coming from smaller lenders, which now have difficulty raising funds on wholesale markets at a reasonable price due to the global credit crunch.

WoW, Let´s try to buy a couple of flats, or a dozen...

Annoying... Cheerio!

9.6.08 20:26

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