Thursday, February 18, 2010

Credit Getting Easier?

A recent newspaper article trumpeted a great leasing deal on a 2010 Honda Accord for $199 a month for 36 months, with 12,000 miles per year allowance.  In one sense, it could be an opportunistic grab for potential customers of a Toyota Camry, and so it's to be expected.  One of the disappointing features is that it's for a 4 cylinder, stripped model that seems like it should be in a rental fleet, but even that's okay.  The kicker was that the article said Honda's finance arm was looking at FICO scores of 710 or above for customers interested in the deal.  This is a pretty strong credit score.  It was not so long ago that this kind of deal would be aimed at a FICO score of 650 or better. 

Someone with the credit score, and by extension that income would hardly seem interested in a stripped down model.  They could probably do a better deal with a bank or their credit union at work, though that's an assumption on my part.  I don't think that this kind of deal signals any kind of credit easing in consumer lending, in fact it suggests continuing fear and trepidation.  Even as a marketing ploy, this deal seems to have little prospect of driving sales.

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