Frozen Credit Lines Are Slowly Thawing Out

By: Rosie Barresi Email
By: Rosie Barresi Email

We've been hearing the words, frozen credit, a lot lately, but according to the Colorado Bankers Association those credit lines have thawed out considerably over the last several months.

Experts even say that Colorado is doing better than some other states. The CBS says Colorado gave out 12% more loans in 2008 than the year before. They say that's a very good sign. They say banks right now across the U.S. are also in very good shape because they all have a very high reserve for future loan losses.

Elena Sequeira who lives in Colorado Springs just closed on her very first home. "Yes, I feel really good so hopefully nothing happens," said Sequeira.

Sequeira is proof that when it comes to lines of credit, the availability is there. "People who can show that they're responsible with their finances and they have the income to pay off that loan, then yes, credit is available," said Don Childears who is with the Colorado Bankers Association.

So, if you need a loan for a house, a personal project or a car, chances are you have a pretty good chance of getting approved.

Sequeira says she had to go through a verifying process. "How long I've been in the military, how long I've had my job, what I get paid, what my basic allowance is that the military gives me for housing and could I support that?" said Sequeira. Six months ago, those things may not really have been taken into consideration.

Childears says there's a huge difference between banks and non-bank lenders, like Countrywide. Childears says most banks have always had high standards and would adhere to certain rules when giving out loans and it was most non-bank lenders that had lenient rules that got them in trouble.

"They would lend 100%, meaning no down payment or they would even go beyond that, we happen to regard that as stupid," said Childears.

Now, Childears says, non-bank lenders like Countrywide, are beginning to follow suit with the rules banks have for giving out loans.

"He sat me down and went through for like two hours step by step every piece of paper," said Sequeira.

The areas of lending that are still pretty frozen, according to Childears, are loans associated with things like travel, or oil and gas because those industries, according to Childears, are riskier because they're not thriving. But he says that can change once consumers get their confidence back.

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