Déjà Vu

Lenders Get Back Into Subprime Credit

Shannon Stapleton, Reuters / Landov

First the banks won’t lend, now they’re back to lending to risky borrowers. As banks look to make up for fee income barred by new regulations, they’ve gone back to offering loans and credit cards to borrowers with bad credit. Credit-card companies gave out 1.1 million new cards to borrowers with bad credit in December, up 12.3 percent from the month before. Capital One is especially aggressive, wooing customers just out of bankruptcy. Lenders are also giving more auto loans to people with bad credit. Analysts say the banks are attracted to the high-interest rates borrowers with damaged credit pay.