By Steven Finlay (auth.)
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Additional info for Consumer Credit Fundamentals
The IT revolution in credit started in the mid-1960s when the ﬁrst banks and credit reference agencies computerized their customer databases and information processing systems, resulting in a huge increase in the amount of information lenders held about their customers. This allowed more subtle distinctions to be made between customers across all areas of the customer relationship, from marketing segmentation and product differentiation, via the application process, through to collections and debt recovery operations.
The borrower is required to fund the difference via a deposit. If the value of the secured property is less than the value of the outstanding loan then a state of negative equity is said to exist. In the US ﬁxed rate mortgages are the norm, with a single interest rate applying for a period of 10 years or more, and possibly for the entire life of the mortgage. In the UK variable rate mortgages or short term ﬁxed rate mortgages, of between 2 and 7 years, are prevalent. A variable rate means that the interest rate can vary over the lifetime of the loan, resulting in changes to the payments made by the borrower.
Therefore, with cars and other modern goods in great demand, there was always the option to recoup funds through repossession and resale should repayments fall behind schedule. Consequently, agreements could be entered into on a far more relaxed basis from the lenders’ perspective. In support of the growth in the number of motor cars, the US also saw a number of oil companies offering charge accounts linked to their own-brand chain of gas stations as a means of encouraging loyalty in the ﬁercely competitive gasoline market.