MONEY: Begging for Borrowers

When the economy was lively and money was loose, bankers were only too eager to counsel their customers on the advantages of borrowing. When money tightened and the economy began to turn sour, bankers turned dour. As interest rates for loans rose dramatically, many a loan officer became severely selective. Less affluent customers were often treated like indigent in-laws. Now the situation has suddenly reversed. Bankers are loaded with relatively cheap and ready cash; it is borrowers who are playing hard to get.

Loan officers are warmly welcoming applicants who would not have got beyond the lobby only a few...

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