35% of the population now has a FICO score below 650

According to a blog post on Mint.com today by John Ulzheimer, President of Consumer Education of Credit.com and the author of the book “You’re Nothing But A Number", over 35% of the population in the United States now has a FICO score below 650. As stated in the post, that 650 score break is meaningful because in today’s financial services environment many lenders and insurance companies consider the +/- 650 point to be the dividing line between prime and sub-prime. What this means is more consumers are going to be denied or adversely approved (that means you’re approved for a loan, but with punishing rates or terms), and scores that are trending lower will continue to do so for many years to come. This reinforces the fact that the market for consumer financing is very challenging and looks to remain that way for years to come. Approval rates for conventional customer financing look to remain very low and terms for those lucky enough to qualify will be expensive. What we have seen is a gradual increase in the number of subprime lenders coming into the consumer financing market to fill part of the gap being left by conventional lenders. Unfortunately, even with these two sources of external financing approval rates are still well below 50% and terms are expensive for the borrower. ExtendCredit.com works with many conventional and subprime lenders because we complement their lending programs. For their business customers, ExtendCredit.com solves the problem of low approval rates by enabling these businesses to offer their own internally funded payment plans. Because ExtendCredit.com automates lending best practices and offers the business instant credit and fraud verification, repayment risk can be minimized while generating needed sales for [...]