Not sure what to make of this:
Credit card offers are surging again after a three-year slowdown, as banks seek to revive a business that brought them huge profits before the financial crisis wrecked the credit scores of so many Americans.
The rise is striking because it includes offers to riskier borrowers who were shunned as recently as six months ago. But this time, in contrast to the boom years, when banks “preapproved” seemingly everyone, lenders are choosing their prospects more carefully and setting stricter terms to guard against another wave of losses.
For consumers, the resurgence of card offers, however cautious, provides an opportunity to repair damaged credit and regain the convenience of paying with plastic. But there is a catch: the new cards have higher interest rates and annual fees.
Lenders are “tiptoeing their way back into the higher-risk pool of customers,” said John Ulzheimer, president of consumer education at SmartCredit.com.
In extending credit again to riskier borrowers, lenders are looking beyond standard credit scores, on the theory that some people who may seem to be equivalent credit risks on the surface may show differences in spending or other behavior — like registering on a job Web site — that suggest variations in their ability to keep up with payments.
I thought one of the problems in the current economic crisis is that legitimate businesses are finding it hard to get credit. Why on earth would banks choose to “carefully” seek out risky borrowers and shun legitimate business?