Credit Scores Drop, Making More Americans Poor Lending Risks

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The days of living large on debt are coming to a crashing halt, as more than a quarter of U.S. consumers are generating low credit scores. Credit reporting company FICO Inc. reported that 25.5 percent of all consumers, around 43.3 million, have credit scores lower than 599, making them a poor credit risk in the eyes of mortgage lenders. Historically, that number has been closer to 15 percent. In positive news, more Americans than ever have scores higher than 800, increasing the segment of consumers with excellent credit to 17.9 percent. That's significantly higher than the historical average of around 13 percent. The overall conclusion? Folks are cutting back expenses, either by choice or not.

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