Consumer Payment Card News

Limit Chop

Over the past twelve months nearly 60 million cardholders have been victims of a credit card credit limit reduction. Since the October “Credit Crunch” an estimated 33 million U.S. cardholders were hit with a “Limit Chop.” Minneapolis-based FICO says its analysis found that of the 33 million reductions between October and April, nearly nine million contained recent negative credit references such as reported late payments. However, 24 million consumers whose credit card limits were reduced were cut despite the absence of any new risk triggers in their credit reports. FICO noted that the reductions in card limits were found to have negligible impact on the FICO scores of most consumers in this group. Once their available revolving credit had been reduced, FICO observed a drop in score for only a third of the people in this group, an estimated 8.5 million consumers, with the typical score drop well under 20 points. Of the remaining 15.5 million consumers, the company found that an estimated 3.5 million had no appreciable change in FICO score, and scores for the remaining 12 million consumers actually increased after their credit line had been lowered.

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