National

Jul 12, 2010 9:23 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Americans' credit scores sink to new lows

New figures show millions more Americans have credit scores that could prevent them from getting credit cards, auto loans or mortgages under the tighter lending standards banks now use.

Figures provided by FICO Inc. show that 25.5 percent of consumers - nearly 43.4 million people - now have a credit score of 599 or below, marking them as poor risks. Restricted access to credit is one reason for the slow economic recovery. FICO's latest analysis is based on consumer credit reports as of April.

FICO's Andrew Jennings says scores didn't used to be as volatile and historically, just 15 percent of the 170 million consumers with active credit accounts, or 25.5 million people, fell below 599.

The number of consumers who have a top score of 800 or above has also increased in recent years.

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