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Recession marginalized consumer credit data

Oct 04, 2011 Todd Milner

It may be intuitive to assume consumer credit scores worsened across the board during the recession and the ensuing aftermath. However, recent data unveiled by credit analytics firm FICO suggests the downturn did more to polarize scores than hurt them Said another way, the data shows consumers with poor FICO scores in the days leading up to the recession saw their ratings deteriorate even further. However, individuals with a strong consumer credit report saw their scores improve when the recession hit. Rachel Bell, senior director of global scoring solutions for FICO, told CreditCards.com that recessions and economic crises tend to shake up credit conditions. In period of growth and stability, however, scores tend to moderate more towards the middle. "It takes a momentous change to shift the national score distribution up or down by just a couple of points," Bell told the source. "The shifts that we reported earlier this month certainly reflect economic turbulence on a major scale." It's interesting to note that consumers tend to assume less debt in a weak economy. In recent month, creditors have been reeling from record-low default rates and credit card balances.