Quite fascinating:

“Over the past couple years, millions of Americans have reneged on their debts — because they lost their jobs, because they took on more than they could handle, or both. For many, those defaults have brought immediate financial relief, leaving more cash to spend on other things. Now, though, they’ll also have to face the challenge of living with bad credit.

As of April, 25% of Americans had fallen into the least-creditworthy category, garnering a rating of less than 600 from FICO, the main arbiter of consumer credit in the U.S. That compares to only 15% before the recession, according to data compiled by Deutsche Bank.”

Why does this matter? Now that NINJA loans are verbotten, this pretty much means that “one in four Americans won’t be able to borrow money to make a major purchase in the foreseeable future.”

Before the recession, the number of people with a FICO score of less than 600 was under 15%.

Some people will lament this, but it has a silver lining. Deleveraging is certainly a good thing, and forcing consumers off of the credit treadmill may actually help these folks over the long haul. The repercussions of the credit weakening means softer growth as the broader economy moves to a more sustainable basis of spending.

Some people complain that unemployment insurance makes people lazy; I disagree — at least so long as their are 5 or 6 unemployed people for each job opening.

But I am going to posture that easy credit allowed some people borrow to maintain a lifestyle, rather than earning to maintain a lifestyle.

I wonder: Will the lack of credit spark a revival of creativity and industriousness amongst those that want to maintain their spending habits? Asked another way, could bad credit spark more economic activity?

>

Source:
Number of the Week: Default Repercussions
Mark Whitehouse
Real Time Economics, JULY 31, 2010
http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2010/07/31/number-of-the-week-default-repercussions/

Category: Consumer Spending, Credit

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

37 Responses to “25% of Americans Have Bad Credit Scores”

  1. Chief Tomahawk says:

    And the U.S. government doesn’t have a ‘bad’ credit score?!

    Just got my daily e-mail from Martin Weiss touting HEAVY insider selling in recent weeks. Another reason I think we’ll have a melt soon in stock prices.

    Is The Big Picture large enough to include this guy? Seems he isn’t wasting anytime in entering a new growth field… He’s 70!

    http://www.mmafighting.com/2010/07/29/70-year-old-mma-fighter-john-williams-got-in-the-cage-to-feel-al/?icid=main|hp-desktop|dl2|link1|http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mmafighting.com%2F2010%2F07%2F29%2F70-year-old-mma-fighter-john-williams-got-in-the-cage-to-feel-al%2F

  2. Chief Tomahawk says:

    Dang! Check this out: a 500-foot long pool built 55 stories up, across the top of 3 skyscrapers in Singapore.

    http://www.marinabaysands.com/

    I think this may make LVS an excellent short…

  3. franklin411 says:

    Barry…lack of credit + extreme income inequality + extreme concentration of wealth = stagnation. Look at the French Revolution. Wealth was so concentrated in the hands of a few wealthy aristocrats and the church that there was no room for an innovative middle class. After all, why should extremely rich people take a chance by investing in new/unproven/innovative technology? They’re already rich, so there’s no incentive. Eventually, of course, the mountain of poor and the tiny French middle class grew tired of carrying their aristocratic overlords. Thankfully for most French, the Great Terror finally took care of that!

    In the US, we were smarter for most of the 20th century. We realized that you have to give working/middle class people the ability to innovate, and you have to give the rich a disincentive to hoard wealth. The Progressives accomplished the latter with the progressive income tax and the estate tax, and the Great Society accomplished the former by breaking the back of cyclical poverty for poor whites and opening doors of economic opportunity to the white middle class.

  4. VennData says:

    Is this graded on a curve?

    …because there’s no way 75% of my fellow country persons have a ‘good’ score.

    …and that’s before their share of the Treasury debt they all wanted to take on after that nice magical wizard on the TV told them that tax cuts pay for themselves.

  5. Vilgrad says:

    Don’t worry. The ruling elite have decided to ignore credit scores. Houses and cars for everyone.

    http://theburningplatform.com/blog/2010/07/30/the-ruling-elite-called/

  6. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    “25% of Americans Have Bad Credit Scores”

    and at least 85% of the remaining 75% are in the pipeline to bad credit scores. Even if you think you’re safe, you’re not.

    Our credit-based economic system is kaput. The same people who extend to us our debt “incomes,” are also those responsible for the lack of growth — via employment at sufficient compensation levels — required to keep the scheme moving forward.

    New Rule of Thumb: When you must have credit to purchase the basic necessities of life, you are already disenfranchised and bankrupt.

  7. CuriousCreature says:

    Taking phony money out of the system is a good thing. What would things cost if we had to pay cash?

    My hope is that the inflation caused by phony money will continue to bring costs down.

    @BR, since you love to parse data I would love to see a consumer strata. Inotherwords, when the media talks about consumers they are lumped into one data set. Not so. Some are also doing quite well. When we buy we are shopping for bargains. The folks who have money are wisely picking up goods with cash.

    Americans became complacent and lazy. Hard times create a renewed sense of fervor. At the end of this is a more balanced way of life. The satisfaction from a hard days work. The peace that comes from choices well made.

    Curious

  8. Rescission says:

    Franklin411, you are full of crap. Keep your progressive “inequality, concentration of wealth and redistribution class warfare” politics off the financial blog. You write about progressive political theory that discounts real life human behavior.

    Barry, Correct. People will innovate because they have to. I hadn’t thought about the borrowing in essence causing people to be lazy, but I think you may be onto something here. Easy credit is, well..easy. Nothing worthwhile in life comes easy.

    When I stopped giving my kids cash and made them work for it, its amazing how much more frugal they became.

  9. MayorQuimby says:

    Deleveraging is a good thing, perhaps the best of things….(‘cept for that DEBT OVERHANG that’s left over like a bad spaghetti stain on the ole Italian tuxedo).

    Hopefully – consumers wise up some but methinks we have a ways to go. I know plenty of people with $65K+ salaries that have zero savings. It’s scary how poorly people manage their finances.

    The implication of deleveraging to my mind is this – you get less but MORE MEANINGFUL economic activity. You may see fewer overall purchases but the remaining purchases will be ‘better’ ones. A flight to quality if you will.

  10. Dow says:

    “…easy credit allowed some people borrow to maintain a lifestyle, rather than earning to maintain a lifestyle…”

    Actually, the easy credit allowed people to ACQUIRE a lifestyle well beyond anything remotely resembling their situational reality. Americans embraced – with a vengeance – the idea that deficits (and debts) don’t matter.

    Easy credit was just the last final warning bell prior to impact of the Great Recession. That there were actually folks out there who didn’t see this coming (…economists no less!) is beyond me.

    “…could bad credit spark more economic activity?”

    Do you mean ‘new business models’? I wouldn’t be surprised to see more people just dive into starting new businesses from their homes. But I suspect such newly minted entrepreneurship will favor barter and cash over anything resembling credit – all ready seeing it happen in my own little ‘hood. Barter and cash also help to avoid the tax burden that hits small margin especially hard.

    The delicious irony to all of this is, of course, that these new types of small businesses will eventually starve local coffers as well as Wall Street both of whom will eventually beg the Federal Government to create jobs. Because if the Fed is writing the payroll check, they’ll make sure the income taxes get paid.

    Cynical? You betcha.

  11. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    MayorQuimby:

    the deleveraging isn’t happening at the top, were the bad debt is concentrated. The banks are insolvent, but have liquidity from the Fed/Treasury/Fiat incest-fest.

    These folks will end up owning all of the “quality” assets, and they will buy them for pennies on the dollar, with the incomes of us and our children.

    There will be no asset gains by the middle and lower classes.

  12. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    Sometimes, it’s difficult to tell if TBP is sluggish in allowing comments to be posted, or if the auto-censor is not liking a choice of words. I have reposed the following, with possible trouble words modified. If it posts twice, sorry.
    ________________

    MayorQuimby:

    the deleveraging isn’t happening at the top, were the bad debt/leverage is concentrated. The banks are insolvent, but have liquidity from the Fed/Treasury/Fiat ince$t-fest.

    These folks will end up owning all of the “quality” assets, and they will buy them for pennies on the dollar, with the incomes of us and our children.

    There will be no asset gains by the middle and lower classes.

  13. Mannwich says:

    Sure they will, BR. Please reference GM’s new acquisition of subprime lender. We’re all subprime now so there’s no choice but to lend to these people, many of whom WILL default again at some time. Keep the insanity going for as long as possible. That’s the strategy.

  14. Mannwich says:

    I actually agree with f411 again this morning. Wow. Vast wealth inequality built up over the last few decades has perhaps reached a significant tipping point of no return without some serious consequences.

  15. dsawy says:

    Increased industriousness? Among a certain segment of the population, yes. Among another segment of the population, you’ll see increased calls for hand-outs and social spending. Could bad credit spark more economic activity? Maybe, but not in a way that we’re going to see in the economic stats, which are now tuned to the credit economy. Where people decide to turn credit collapse into new economic activity, I think it will be increasingly part of the economy where they seek to reduce costs to the bare minimum, and that will include avoiding sales taxes, credit costs, etc. As such, this type of business activity will avoid reporting, so we might not see it show up in the stats.

  16. Bruman says:

    I remember thinking during the bubble: “I don’t understand how the economy can be expanding at this pace, when all we are doing is selling each other houses on borrowed money, and filling them with stuff produced in china, also on borrowed money.” I just felt dumb, because by all rational analysis, it shouldn’t be happening.

    Now I see that it was in fact an illusion after all. But my being prudent during the bubble didn’t really seem to help, because now the system collapse has pretty much taken down everything with it. The only people who weren’t completely crushed seem to be the ones that had the most at the peak.

  17. Jack Damn says:

    this pretty much means that “one in four Americans won’t be able to borrow money to make a major purchase in the foreseeable future.”

    Credit score forgiveness. That’s what’s going to happen soon.

    Countries forgive debt all the time. Right? Soon enough, there will be a wave of First World debt forgiveness as the US and Europe will not be able to own up to their crushing debt. So if we can forgive debt on a global scale, do you not think that they will absolve personal bad credit scores giving these people a clean slate?

    They will.

    Why?

    Because the economy needs this 25% to borrow and spend. If you don’t give that 25% fresh new credit scores they’ll take their commerce to the “gray market” where it can not be taxed or tracked. I see this happening now with three of my friends who have abysmal credit scores.

    In real life, away from theory, people with bad credit scores still borrow and spend … they just do it “all cash” and many of them live quite well.

  18. Onlooker from Troy says:

    That’s an interesting proposition BR. Indeed the easy credit has allowed too many people to avoid the hard decisions for far too long. Many other consequences as well, of course.

    What’s not addressed here is that these people are affected in a larger way than just the ability to borrow money. The tyranny of the credit score that has developed in this country makes us all hostage to it, as our insurance rates, prospects for employment, ability to rent, etc., are all based on this stupid score almost exclusively. We are our credit score.

    We really need to break this tyranny and force society to assess us on more than our credit history. Good old underwriting needs to come back. We shouldn’t be forced to play the credit game in order to not be handicapped in so many ways. It’s an outrage and absurd.

    Hopefully this can come about by the hand of the business community itself instead of by government legislation, as they will surely screw it up, with untold unintended consequences, as usual.

  19. Rescission says:

    Franklin _ Sorry for lashing out. My bad.

    Barry, Correct. People will innovate because they have to. I hadn’t thought about the borrowing in essence causing people to be lazy, but I think you may be onto something here. Easy credit is, well..easy. Nothing worthwhile in life comes easy.

    When I stopped giving my kids cash and made them work for it, its amazing how much more frugal they became.

  20. Jack Damn says:

    I’ve posted this example before. I have friend who has a terrible credit score. I mean rock fucking bottom. It has meant nothing to her standard of living. Not a glitch. She went all cash with her business and she still lives in her house that she hasn’t paid her mortgage on in 1½ years. There are months that she does better financially that me because my trading profits are heavily taxed and her gray market earnings are…well…

    There are many days that I feel like a total chump for buying into the notion that your life is better simply because you have a “good” credit score.

    If enough Americans have “bad” credit scores, the Gov. will forgive them just to get them back into the track-able/taxable economy.

  21. jeff in indy says:

    jack has touched on it, i believe. the ‘gray’ market will increase exponentially. more cash and barter transactions, especially with the additional threat of higher income and healthcare taxes.

    maybe teddy forseman was right, “no more funny money!” (barbarians at the gate)

  22. Space_Cowboy_NW says:

    Chief Tomahawk Says:

    July 31st, 2010 at 10:09 am
    Dang! Check this out: a 500-foot long pool built 55 stories up, across the top of 3 skyscrapers in Singapore.

    http://www.marinabaysands.com/

    I think this may make LVS an excellent short…
    _________________________________________

    Chief…Think about this:

    Steve WYNN is thinking about moving his HQ to China being that 60%
    (and rising) of WYNN’s revenue is coming from …(snare drum pop) China.

    The Sun is rising in the east…and it ain’t in Japan!

    Your mileage may vary….

  23. deanscamaro says:

    Believe me, this deleveraging is only a temporary thing. Media of all kinds preach to the American public a lifestyle that most cannot afford. Give it a few years and the financial institutions will find ways to reel in the bad risk group and the media will continue to sell them on putting themselves back into the same position they were before. “But I have to keep up with the Jones’”.

  24. bear_in_mind says:

    “Will the lack of credit spark a revival of creativity and industriousness amongst those that want to maintain their spending habits? Asked another way, could bad credit spark more economic activity?”

    I would have to posit a resounding, “no!” Many others have already commented on the likelihood that credit lines are going to be downsized or ‘right-sized’ for many, many more than the 25% currently having their wings trimmed. What I suspect is that the majority of middle class Americans are going to have to deal with the five stages of grief, become more frugal, and maybe, just maybe, mount the massive fight necessary to get our voices and political power back.

    Only when we start seeing income growth in the middle class, which has essentially been frozen in amber since 1970, are we going to meaningfully climb out of this malaise. There will be plenty of cyclical bulls and bears in the interim, but we really need to get serious about rebuilding our economy.

  25. S Brennan says:

    I wonder: Will the lack of credit spark a revival of creativity and industriousness amongst those that want to maintain their spending habits?

    Who’s we Keemosabee?

    I bought my first 900 ft^2 house at the age of 43 in 2001…too much, too soon huh?

    It was a tear down, that I worked every weekend for three years to totally rehab, which I “flipped” to put 300,000.00 into a business. Frivolous huh?

    I created a manufacturing business to support myself because past a certain age engineers are un-employable. Sense of entitlement?

    That business as been wiped out after winning national and international awards for it’s absolutely unique line of products. No bail-out here Timmy?

    Two years of searching for work related to my profession has yielded only short contract jobs. I go in and solve a problem that the regular engineering staff can’t handle. After spending months on a problem with a looming deadline, I get a call, for a ten day gig. But I must be unwilling to work…huh?

    I graduated from a top 5 Engineering University and I can’t find work in spite of a stellar work record, 7 patents, 2 sole, a dozen or so design awards…what’s the point of achievement when the jobs belong to those in their 20′s and early 30′s…I don’t even get interviews after thousands of submittals. If only I had applied myself?

    Now my credit is going to going to go to crap and that is going to “spark a revival of creativity and industriousness”. Are you kidding me Barry?

    I like you Barry, I read you every day, but this commentary is beneath you. You know better than this right wing drivel, lazy people are lazy whether they can get their hands on cash or not, industrious people work for the joy of their creative spirits. This is beneath you Barry, there is no upside to the financial thievery, this klepto Government of the past 10 Bush/Obama years.

    Good Jobs. If you want to “spark a revival of creativity and industriousness” It’s Good Jobs you want.

  26. stonedwino says:

    More and more Americans are figuring out what is important in trying to survive and do what they can maintain a certain lifestyle. It may not be the pre – Great Recession lifestyle, but keeping your house and car paid for, keeping the kids in good schools, making sure there is enough food on the table and ideally some form of health care. I own my own business, which has actually been doing better than last year, but I have had to prioritize as to what is important. Thank God I have awesome relationships with our suppliers, who have been more than willing to help us out in many ways to continually bridge the cash-flow gaps, since there is no credit available no matter your credit score ans any and all credit lines are being cut as they are paid off or closed on a whim by the bank. I have decided that paying my suppliers, staying in business and taking care of my home and my family is a hell of a lot more important than paying my credit card bills to people who are totally unwilling to work with you and help until you actually start missing payments…..guess what? I don’t care about my credit any longer and I’m done paying….the banks have showed me that in the new economy it does not matter. Darwinism at its finest….I am not sure the banks realize what they have cooked up…

  27. stonedwino says:

    Oh and that barter thing does work…

  28. b_thunder says:

    I do not entirely agree that “one in four Americans won’t be able to borrow money to make a major purchase in the foreseeable future.”
    Here are 3 things to consider:
    1) Government-sponsored “auto-refi” to current market rates regardless of LTV and credit scores http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/MS%20-%20slam_dunk_stimulus.pdf
    2) GM buying a “sub-prime” car finance firm.

    I think the Administration will do all they can to “neutralize” the effects of the poor credit scores in the election year, especially the effects on their political base. This may not allow someone with $25k annual income and 500 FICO score to qualify for a $400k house, but it certainly will let them stay in the same house for years to come, paid for by the taxpayers.

    “Will the lack of credit spark a revival of creativity and industriousness amongst those that want to maintain their spending habits?” – well, if you agree with BR that unemployed are generally not lazy, then you’d think they’d come up with “something creative” by now, right? So, my answer is NO. By and large they will not come up with anything “creative” and at the same time LEGAL. What scares me is that eventually the society will have to make the choice between providing basic means of existence for 10-15% of perpetually unemployed americans or to have millions of unemployed and homeless harassing and scaring sh*t out of the rest.

  29. GeorgeBurnsWasRight says:

    There’s THREE primary causes of debt woes in the U.S. Besides people losing their jobs or taking on too much debt, people get economically destroyed by health care bills when they don’t have insurance, or in some cases, their insurance refuses to pay. Too many people are playing health care roulette, going without insurance because they can’t afford the COBRA premiums or don’t qualify for COBRA coverage and can’t get private insurance.

    When you compare cost and health outcomes, we have the worst health care system of any mature industrialized country in the world.

  30. I just hope all these all cash people will teach it to their kids as well so that the plantation banksters will lose two generations of debt slaves and not one. To a certain degree the kids will have it programmed into it by their family suffering. I just hope it will not be much suffering

    As for the western debt resets, I’m not being selfish here but if they reset the debt of those who were reckless I sure hope they pop a couple hundred k into the accounts of those that weren’t. This will has so many positive effects that it is worth the risk. First off it will say to those who spend their money wisely that they don’t get stuck by the system twice. First to keep up with the prices and spending during the debt binge and then to have these false competitors unleashed on them again.

    Also, the money will go into hands that obviously know how to manage it. These people are also not aggressive with their cash so they will probably not use it to lord it over others.

    Now back to the real world

    BTW @F411,

    The French revolution hit its flashpoint when 2% of the population were being ‘served’ by the other 98%. We are not quite there yet. There is still a middle class that is eroding fast with most households now doing two, three and four jobs just to survive

    As for this statement of yours:

    Thankfully for most French, the Great Terror finally took care of that!

    Uh, no. You might want to go back and do some reading. That was a very flippant statement about a brutally bloody period in French history. I assure you, no one will be wanting that to be coming to American shores if they understand it. It was not just the elites who suffered through that. It was everyman for himself and the harvest of misery that was reaped with seeds of blood is not something that the world should endure again. I understand your sentiment though and something indeed should be done to clear up the imbalances. Let’s hope some healthy flushing happens this November with limited bloodshed

  31. FrancoisT says:

    “I actually agree with f411 again this morning. Wow. Vast wealth inequality built up over the last few decades has perhaps reached a significant tipping point of no return without some serious consequences.”

    Agree 100%

    “It was everyman for himself and the harvest of misery that was reaped with seeds of blood is not something that the world should endure again.”

    Then, it is incumbent upon those who bend over backward to maintain the present status quo to heed JFK’s warning:

    “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”

    Those who think that some immanent law of Nature exempt America from such a dire scenario would do well to read “It Could Happen Here: America on the Brink” by Bruce Judson.

    http://www.amazon.com/Could-Happen-Here-America-Brink/dp/B003GAN45E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1280604749&sr=8-1

    The author has a blog:
    http://itcouldhappenhere.com/blog/

  32. crankitto11 says:

    As they say, past performance and all of that… but a little historical perspective here.

    The 25% with bad credit scores may not necessarily mean we are returning to a more frugal, all cash economy.

    In the late 90′s and and early 00′s, I used to handle a lot of consumer bankruptcies.

    It would always amaze how many of my clients were able to get $100K of unsecured credit with $40K salaries. The reason was that, at least in those days, credit scores focused on the timeliness of their monthly minimum payments, not their salary, not their overall debt load, not their net worth. (“We have this model that guarantees high returns with no risk”– sound familiar?)

    And although the bankruptcy is listed on their credit reports for 10 years, many of them were solicited (as in without asking) for new credit cards as soon as they received their bankruptcy discharges, because their “clean slate” made them a “safe risk” (the model said so) to give even more profitable credit lines at high interest rates.

    I used to tell them that the bankruptcy WOULD make it difficult for them to get a home mortgage or other big ticket loan, but I largely got out of the practice before the subprime mortgage game took off…

  33. “…A good part of Foxconn’s recent success can be attributed to Apple, the EMS providers fastest growing customer. Apple’s popular devices, including iPad and iPhone, continue to fly off shelves, propelling its business growth. ISuppli recently reported that Apple’s semiconductor spending is expected to increase more than 54% in 2010, a trend that will continue and is expected to make Apple the world’s second-largest OEM semiconductor buyer in 2011 and could potentially position the company to become the world’s top chip purchaser in 2012. Apple purchases some of its semiconductors through Foxconn, iSuppli noted.

    According to iSuppli estimates, Apple is expected to ship 12.9 million iPads in 2010, an amount that will nearly triple to reach 36.5 million in 2011. Apple iPhone shipments are expected to rise to 53.5 million in 2011, more than double the 25.1 million in 2009, iSuppli projected.”

    http://mobile.edn.com/article/509936-Foxconn_to_take_more_than_half_of_EMS_market_by_2011.php

    Top-10 EMS provider ranking in Q1 by revenue in millions of US dollars…
    ~~
    http://mobile.edn.com/article/509647-Outsourced_engineering_services_show_solid_growth.php

    “Last year’s economic environment, in which customers needed to continue driving their key products to market with fewer resources, spurred an increase in outsourced engineering, says Andrew Femrite (photo), manager of Arrow Electronics Inc’s Engineering Solutions Center. “Hiring has not yet increased dramatically, so outsourcing continues not only as a short-term tactic but also as a mainstay,” he adds.

    The economic downturn also drove work to independent design companies. “Many companies downsized over the last few years, but outsourcedengineering companies did well,” says Adam Tavin, chief executive officer of Focus Product Design Inc, a designengineering company. “The work still needed to get done, even though companies had downsized.”

    Analysts note that companies in the electronics industry have recently become comfortable with outsourcing. “In the past three years, more work is getting outsourced,” says Mukesh Dialani, research manager at IDC. “At some level, confidence has grown in what engineering vendors have to offer. Outsourced engineering has been validated with successful outsourcing engagements.”…

    …Emerging technology is also a candidate for outsourcing. For many companies, it’s more cost-effective to buy cuttingedge technology rather than hire for it. “We’re seeing a lot of growth in ‘green’ engineering,” says John Myung, vice president of sales and marketing at Focus Product Design. “In automotive, companies are looking for new battery design. We’re also seeing more design work for companies analyzing solar panels.”…”

  34. cewing says:

    The idea that people are holding back on their creativity and native industriousness because they’d rather live on credit is dubious at best. It’s right up there with the myth of the limousine-riding welfare queen.

    “Gee, this new invention I’ve been working on really works. I can make millions! Nah, I’d rather keep living off these credit cards.”

    Doubt it.

  35. dbloomburg says:

    Hmm, and we wonder why banks are making loans?

    And to expand on this concept of poor credit, i’ll bet these same folks are subsidizing the banks profits to higher levels than we can even dream of through their fee structures designed to prey on the less savvy.

    Yet, we will give the banks more money for??

  36. zola says:

    I’m a little surprised that the ramifications of this weren’t further discussed. How many employers now do a credit check as part of a background check? How many rentals insist on a good credit score? This freezes people out of the economy, not just out of major purchases.

  37. [...] “Some people will lament this, but it has a silver lining,” FusionIQ CEO Barry Ritholtz says. “Deleveraging is certainly a good thing, and forcing consumers off of the credit treadmill [...]