Credit flip-flop hits low-income families

Financial analysts here believe it should be called "the Great Carter Administration Easy Credit Flip-Flop." For three years -- up until March 15, 1980 -- the administration and agencies like the Federal Trade Commission had been urging lenders to make more credit available to lower-income families, minorities, and women.

Federal officials had urged lenders to include all types of income, such as alimony, child support, and public assistance, in determining whether applicants are qualified for credit cards and loans.

Now, the gates may again be slamming shut on those least able to get credit, as lenders prune away marginal accounts and raise their requirements.

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