Sign up for our FREE Monthly Email Newsletter
In addition to keeping in the financial know, you may be interested in checking your credit score and report.
¹The credit scores provided under the offers described here use the Equifax Credit Score, which is a proprietary credit model developed by Equifax. The Equifax Credit Score and 3-Bureau scores are each based on the Equifax Credit Score model, but calculated using the information in your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit files. The Equifax Credit Score is intended for your own educational use. It is also commercially available to third parties along with numerous other credit scores and models in the marketplace. Please keep in mind third parties are likely to use a different score when evaluating your creditworthiness. Also, third parties will take into consideration items other than your credit score or information found in your credit file, such as your income.
²The Automatic Fraud Alert feature is made available to consumers by Equifax Information Services LLC and fulfilled on its behalf by Equifax Consumer Services LLC.
³Equifax Credit Report Control™ is only available while you have a current subscription to Equifax Complete Premier. Locking your credit file with Equifax Credit Report Control will prevent access to your Equifax credit file by certain third parties, such as credit grantors or other companies and agencies. Credit Report Control will not prevent access to your credit file at any other credit reporting agency, and will not prevent access to your Equifax credit file by companies like Equifax Personal Solutions which provide you with access to your credit report or credit score or monitor your credit file; Federal, state and local government agencies; companies reviewing your application for employment; companies that have a current account or relationship with you, and collection agencies acting on behalf of those whom you owe; for fraud detection and prevention purposes; and companies that wish to make pre-approved offers of credit or insurance to you. To opt out of such pre-approved offers, visit www.optoutprescreen.com/.
4We will require you to provide your payment information when you sign up and we will immediately charge your card $4.95. After that, we will charge the card $19.95 for each month you continue your subscription. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.
Equifax® is a registered trademark and Equifax Complete™ Premier is a trademark of Equifax, Inc. © 2014, Equifax Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. All rights reserved.
Do you know anyone who has been turned down for a credit card recently? More likely, you may have seen someone get a new credit card now who may not have been able to three years ago.
During the credit crisis, credit card companies tightened their regulations and had very strict guidelines about who could and could not open new credit. However, in 2010, one of the credit trends we saw was credit card companies easing their tighter card underwriting, and this has been continuing into 2011.
With credit card companies loosening their restrictions, more consumers are able to get credit and take advantage of more buying power. As our credit reporting models have shown, most consumers’ financial behaviors are linked together. Today, we’ll look more closely at credit card consumers and mortgage holders—and how the two overlap.
Credit card consumers and mortgage holders
What does holding a mortgage have to do with your credit card habits? Consumers with a mortgage are generally lower-risk customers, and credit card companies are willing to give them credit. Forty-two percent of new cards and almost 60 percent of new credit went to consumers with mortgages. On average, credit scores and available credit are higher for consumers with mortgages.
However, about half of the new credit card consumers with a mortgage have property values estimated at $200,000 or below. Thirty-five percent own a home worth between $100,000 and $200,000, and the majority of new credit card consumers have equity in their homes, contributing to their overall financial health.
Some financial markers are out of the consumer’s control. Real estate blogger Ilyce Glink has written about the housing market and how home values continue to plummet. About 35 percent of new cardholders with a mortgage are underwater on their mortgage. Even among new credit card originations for customers with a credit score above 700, 30 percent of those with a mortgage are underwater. But even with falling home values, these mortgage holders are still consumers in the credit world.
Home value and home equity are important factors because consumers with equity in their homes have a better ability to weather financial hardships like unemployment or unexpected medical expenses. However, we see no evidence of lenders using home equity estimates to regulate credit lines.
With uncertainty still present in the economy, credit card lenders are still cautious. We’ve seen new card originations in the last two years, but the credit limits are still tight. Credit lines offered when the new credit was opened were decreased dramatically across all score ranges in 2009 and remain low, but we have seen some easing in 2011.
Money Management Tips: Choosing the Right Savings Account
Money Management Tips: Set Your Savings Priorities
Money Management Tips: Pay Yourself First
Pay Off Debt and Take Advantage of Low Interest Rates
Identity Theft: What To Do If Your Wallet Is Lost Or Stolen
Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.