The cash-strapped Federal Housing Administration is making it harder for consumers with blemishes on their credit to get mortgages, potentially cutting the ranks of future homebuyers.

The FHA, which is part of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, raised credit standards this month to weed out borrowers who may pose a higher risk of default and those who may be trying to hide bad debts. The move is part of a broader effort to shore up FHA's dwindling reserves, which have been depleted by rising delinquencies over the past few years.

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