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Nearly 50 million credit cardholders say their credit limits have been cut
These consumers will likely see their credit scores fall
One effect of the massive layoffs triggered by the coronavirus (COVID-19) has been a significant reduction in consumer credit. Twenty-five percent of U.S. credit cardholders say their credit limits were lowered on a card, or the card was involuntarily canceled.
The survey by CompareCards confirms an earlier report at the end of April that said some credit card issuers were reducing their credit exposure over concerns of widespread defaults. The CompareCards report shows a widespread industry move to take preemptive action over the last 30 days.
“I’m not surprised that credit card issuers are reining in available credit, but I was definitely surprised by just how widespread it already is,” said Matt Schultz, chief credit analyst for CompareCards, which is owned by LendingTree.
That hurts affected consumers in two ways. First, the reduction in credit means they will be without a critical lifeline if they suddenly find themselves unemployed.
“No one wants to have to rely on credit cards to act like an emergency fund in tough economic times, but that’s the reality for many Americans,” Schultz said.
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