Bloomberg has a nice piece today following up on Bernanke's comment last week that he applied to refinance his loan and was rejected recently. The story is pretty basic, but covers the "pendulum has swung too far back" issue, the "lenders' job is to find what's wrong with your package" issue, as well as the "our incomes are actually lower now than 10 years ago, on average, so of course lending is more difficult" issue. This latter point I've not heard paired with the tightening guidelines issue before (though of course folks lost so much equity and savings during the downturn, that downpayments are dramatically more difficult to pull together these days--for instance, 10 years ago, you could buy a $1 million home with $50,000 down, let's say. Today you might need $200,000 down (a 300% increase, and savings are incredibly hard to set aside quickly!), and your income might be 3% lower, on average (but rates are too, so......).