by Bill Hardekopf
According to some new research from Equifax, the total number of consumers with
subprime credit scores is declining.
The latest data from the third quarter of 2012 shows there are about one million fewer
consumers with a credit score below 620. This is a decrease of 2.1 percent
versus year-ago figures.
Subprime consumers still make up more than
one-quarter of the total scores in the Equifax database. However, the share of
consumers with subprime scores dropped 0.7 percent from 25.9 percent to 25.2
The data also showed that 24 of the 25 top metropolitan areas
had a drop in the number of customers with subprime scores. Houston is the only
area where there was an increase in the number of consumers with a score below
"The job market is improving and time is starting to heal the wounds
of the Great Recession," said Trey Loughran, president of the Personal Solutions
division at Equifax. "We are seeing a trend of consumers being careful and
disciplined about their use of existing credit while also being cautious about
using new accounts they have opened."
Bill Hardekopf is CEO of LowCards.com, a site that simplifies the
confusion of shopping for credit cards. It is a free, independent website that
helps consumers easily compare credit cards in a variety of categories such as
lowest rates, rewards, rebates, balance transfers and lowest introductory rates.
It also gives an unbiased ranking and review for each card.