During the last month, I had two friends call me to say hat their banks had lowered their credit cards limits to their current balances. One of them told me that he had called up his bank to ask for a credit line increase and they told him that they couldn't give him an increase but would actually have his limit decreased instead. These guys had long term relationships with their banks for many years, and one even had a FICO score of over 750.
I'm still hearing about homebuyers having problems getting financing, and I'm hearing it from both real estate agents and homebuyers.
What is it with banks? It's still hard to get credit, in spite of the fact that numerous banks received TARP funds, the funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program. The government has an unusually named website called financialstability.gov, which provides various reports showing how the TARP funds are being used (and paid back). If I am reading the report correctly, and it's in a fairly simple format, it appears that there are over a dozen banks that haven't paid back a dime.
There are also a few non-banks listed, such as Chrysler; when are they going to start paying back anything? (I still can't figure out why the government bailed out a non-publicly traded non-bank company owned by a private equity firm.) AIG (AIG) also showed up as a zero in the Life-To-Date Payments column.
Of course. there are some names on the list that have paid back a substantial amount of money to the government. Goldman Sachs (GS) has paid back $318,055,555.44, Bank of America (BAC) paybacks were into the billions, J P Morgan (JPM) has paid back almost $800 million.
Thank goodness, many of the big companies are coming through with their payments and paybacks.