Credit Relief Flows Slowly—When It Flows at All

Consumer aid package won't budge pickier banks
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Nov 27, 2008 10:14 AM CST
Don't hold your breath waiting for the interest rates on your credit cards to drop, even if the issuer is benefiting from a government bailout.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, file)
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(Newser) – With hundreds of billions of dollars pumping into the calcified credit markets, many struggling Americans are expecting to see some relief, but many will be disappointed, the New York Times reports. Banks continue to stiffen loan eligibility requirements even as strapped consumers face deteriorating credit scores, and whole categories of applicants for mortgages and car or student loans simply won't qualify.

"There are fundamental elements of qualifications for loans that will inhibit the ability of this program to have any meaningful, significant impact," says LendingTree's chief economist. Even as plummeting home values are eroding refi prospects, the federal relief funds—intended partly to aid investors who buy and trade packaged loans—could take months to reach the credit card and small business loan markets.