Gas is cheaper. Maybe mortgages are too? I would like to check on financing. What will I find? You'll find some good news on the mortgage front, too. New mortgage-lending guidelines were scheduled to take effect December 1 with the largest mortgage lenders set to ease their standards in 2015. Laurie Goodman, director of the Housing Finance Policy Center at the Urban Institute says, "The moves are going to be big, but it will take time to see the full impact of the changes." The Urban Institute estimated that new lending standards could make it possible for as many as 1.2 million additional home loans to be made annually if mortgage availability returns to "normal" levels. Lenders say borrowers should begin to see changes soon, including faster processing times for mortgage applications. Currently, it can take two months or longer between when the application is made and when the loan is made. New types of borrowers that lenders will accept include those with somewhat lower credit scores. Lenders will give greater leeway if a credit history suffered because of one-time events, such as a job loss or big medical bill. Economists have maintained that tight credit could be holding back the housing recovery and dampening economic growth. It's likely that more mortgages will be granted under the new guidelines to those with credit scores of 640 to 699 and even with scores of 620 to 639. The new guidelines are going to be permanent, not temporary. Experts say you will see banks expand their criteria, but some lenders are still too hesitant due to the constantly shifting regulatory environment to ease credit very soon.