1 in 4 Americans a Credit Risk Credit scores sink to new lows By Jane Yager, Newser Staff Posted Jul 12, 2010 3:01 AM CDT Updated Jul 12, 2010 4:23 AM CDT 10 comments Comments Chart compares US credit score prior to the recession and from April (AP) (Newser) – Thanks to the Great Recession, the credit scores of millions more Americans have sunk to new lows. New figures show that an astounding 1 in 4 households are now in the lowest credit category, boosting the number of those considered poor lending risks to 43 million. Even more consumers are expected to fall into this category in the coming months. Banks' tightened lending standards mean that not only these people but also those with moderate credit scores are finding it increasingly hard to get credit cards, loans or mortgages. This is one reason for the slow economic recovery, since debt-fueled consumer spending played a major role in past recoveries, AP reports. On the positive side, the number of consumers who have a top credit score has also increased recently.