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BUSINESS
May 11, 2008 | Kathy M. Kristof, Times Staff Writer
When Best Buy offered Mike Walker the chance to take home a television set and make no payments, interest or otherwise, for 12 months, it seemed like a great deal. Walker had shopped with Best Buy for years and had great faith in the retailer, so he barely glanced at the 13-page booklet that came with his new Best Buy credit card. It wasn't until a few weeks ago -- when the 12 months were nearly up -- that he found the catch.
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BUSINESS
April 11, 2008 | From Times Wire Services
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein said Thursday that markets are probably in the late stages of the global credit crisis that began last summer. "We're closer to the end than the beginning," Blankfein said at the bank's annual shareholder meeting. He wouldn't forecast how long the crisis would persist. In the meantime, Goldman is cutting deep into its ranks, eliminating posts in mortgage and investment banking as the credit crunch saps demand. The company declined to quantify the latest round of head-count reductions, which are taking place this month.
BUSINESS
April 8, 2008 | From Reuters
Alan Greenspan says don't blame him for the U.S. housing bubble, the sub-prime meltdown and the resulting credit crisis. The real culprits are professional investors, the former Federal Reserve chairman wrote in an article published Sunday in Britain's Financial Times newspaper. Some critics have asserted that the easy U.S. monetary policy during the last several years of Greenspan's Fed tenure was responsible for the rapid rising in U.S. housing prices.
BUSINESS
April 4, 2008 | From Reuters
More Americans have fallen behind on consumer loans than at any time in nearly 16 years as credit problems once concentrated in mortgages spread into other forms of debt. In a quarterly study, the American Bankers Assn. said the percentage of loans at least 30 days past due rose to 2.65% in the fourth quarter from 2.44% in the third quarter and from 2.23% a year earlier. The rate of delinquencies was the highest since a 2.75% rate in the first quarter of 1992.
BUSINESS
February 27, 2008 | Ronald D. White and Kathy M. Kristof, Times Staff Writers
Students at Corinthian Colleges and other for-profit learning institutions are getting a painful lesson in credit-crunch economics: Some lenders, including giant Sallie Mae, are turning off the money faucets for less credit-worthy applicants. That means students at these commercial schools who use high-rate private loans to bridge gaps in their tuition costs or who fail to qualify for conventional loans and grants may have a harder time financing their educations.
BUSINESS
January 30, 2008 | DAVID LAZARUS, CONSUMER CONFIDENTIAL
Easy credit is great. Except when it's too easy. Millions of people are now in danger of losing their homes as a result of the meltdown in the sub-prime mortgage market. But millions more face the prospect of financial ruin because of an even more ubiquitous problem: the danger of making only minimum payments on monthly credit card bills. Michelle Schimeck, 35, discovered this for herself after running up a combined balance of more than $20,000 on five credit cards.
BUSINESS
January 9, 2008 | From the Associated Press
Consumer borrowing rose again in November as credit card debt shot up by the largest amount in six months. The Federal Reserve reported Tuesday that consumer borrowing climbed at an annual rate of 7.4% in November, far higher than the 1% rise in October. The category that includes credit card debt surged at an annual rate of 11.3%, a six-month high, an indication that shoppers were relying heavily on credit cards to finance purchases since home equity lines of credit became harder to get.
BUSINESS
December 25, 2007 | From the Associated Press
Americans are falling behind on their credit card payments at an alarming rate, sending delinquencies and defaults surging by double-digit percentages in the last year and prompting warnings of worse to come. An Associated Press analysis of financial data from the country's largest card issuers also found that the greatest rise was among accounts more than 90 days in arrears.
BUSINESS
December 8, 2007 | From Reuters
U.S. loans for big-ticket items like cars fell in October for a second consecutive month, according to a Federal Reserve report Friday that suggested tighter lending conditions in the wake of a global credit crunch. It was the first back-to-back decline for this type of loan since 1992. Nonrevolving credit, which includes closed-end loans for big-ticket items such as cars, boats, college educations and holidays, declined by $1.64 billion, or 1.26%, to $1.561 trillion, the Fed said.
BUSINESS
November 14, 2007 | From Bloomberg News
Laurence Fink, who helped create the market for mortgage-backed securities, said the credit losses that had cost banks and securities firms $45 billion were about to get worse. Fink, chief executive of New York-based fund manager BlackRock Inc., said Tuesday at an investor conference that "many institutions don't understand what the credit crunch is going to do to earnings and their balance sheet." Financial stocks rallied Tuesday after Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
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