Banks eased credit card lending standards

Banks eased credit card lending standards Those who were successful in their previous attempts to get out of debt due to the state of the economy and their personal finances may now be feeling good enough about their standing to acquire a new credit card. And for the first time in three years, some lenders were willing to grant them new accounts.

During the 12-month period ending on February 28, 2011, 25 percent of the nation's top credit card lenders eased their underwriting requirements, granting consumers with lower credit scores more access to new accounts, according to the latest annual report from the federal Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. This was the first time since 2008 that standards eased, as the national recession previously caused many to drastically increase underwriting standards.

Still, the latest period saw standards increase overall, as 31 percent of issuers held their requirements steady, while 44 percent boosted them, the report said. This was still down from the 81 percent that increased requirements the previous year.

Increased standards may have been what led all major lenders to experience significant drops in both delinquency and default over the last year, as many financially troubled borrowers were unable to obtain new lines of credit.