With lessons learned and time healing the wounds, banks are slowly returning to the bigger lending pool of those with less-than-stellar credit. “You can’t simply ignore this segment anymore,” said Deron Weston, a principal in Deloitte’s banking practice. Credit card lenders gave out 1.1 million new cards to borrowers with damaged credit in December, up 12.3% from December 2011, according to Equifax’ March credit trends report. “This is a natural loosening of credit standards because the banks feel they can expand again,” said Michael Binz, a managing director at Standard & Poor’s. Credit to subprime borrowers – those with credit scores below 660 – has not been extended to the mortgage industry.

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