Creditors continue to tighten credit lines throughout 2009, says Equifax

Creditors are continuing to tighen ther credit lines A newly issued study from Equifax has found that creditors are beginning to shy away from consumers who may have previously dealt with credit counseling services as a way to climb out of debt, reductions of credit lines have led to a decline in new card issuances in recent years.

Accordingto the study, which was released on Tuesday, creditors have developed a trend of reducing their lines of credit since instituting card risk management programs in July 2008. In that time, Equifax reported that card credit accounts had declined by 93 million while lines of credit had decreased by $803 billion

Equifax also found that the 2.4 million bank cards that had been opened in September was 45 percent lower from one year earlier.

"The story of 2009 continues to be one of consumer retrenchment and credit tightness as people strive to pay down debt or are forced to abandon it, and lenders more aggressively manage risk in their portfolios," said Dann Adams, president of Equifax’s U.S. Consumer Information Solutions.

The survey also found that delinquency rates for credit cards saw a significant jump over figures taken at the end of 2008. In November 2009, the 60-day delinquency rate for cards stood at 4.62 percent, well above the 3.76 percent rate recorded in November 2008