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Wall Street Meltdown Means Higher Rates for Some Mainers 

The upheaval on Wall Street has forced Maine’s housing agency to raise its rates on the lower-interest loans it provides to first-time home buyers.

MaineHousing’s no-points rate this month has risen to 6.35 percent, up from 5.5 percent a month earlier.

By contrast, KeyBank offered a similar loan Friday for 6.25 percent.

MaineHousing, which is financed by tax-exempt bonds, aims to provide a rate that is a full percentage point lower than can be found on the commercial market.

But agency officials say they were forced to raise rates because the financial crisis has frozen the municipal bond market.