Non-Prime Credit Card Segments 2011:
An Opportunity Waiting To Happen

Boston, MA — This report highlights opportunities in three heterogeneous credit card prospect segments which exist outside prime territory: subprime, consumers with an established credit track record indicating a higher risk of credit default, thin file consumers with credit bureau files insufficient for traditional credit scoring and underwriting, and no file/no hit consumers with no identifiable records at the major bureaus.

While most credit card issuers continue to favor prime-plus consumers as they continue to recover from the recession, appetites for non-prime consumers are beginning to increase.


Highlights of the report include the following:

-Credit standards are beginning to loosen, as card issuers continue to work through elevated charge-off levels.

-Issuers return to non-prime segments is likely to be highly selective, focusing on new segmentation approaches and using new analytics and data types.

-Six types of tools will support issuers return to these segments:

Scores adapted to decisioning the thinnest files

Forward-looking data to evaluate performance under future economic conditions

Alternative (non-bureau) consumer data

Tools for matching disparate data to minimize thin files and no-hits

Tools to identify consumers who have made strategic (mortgage) defaults

Credit education/rehab services that may generate attractive prospects.

“Make no mistake, we are not about to experience a massive new wave in subprime credit card account issuing. Issuers are exploring new strategies to selectively identify better risk consumers who have been through understandable economic difficulties, and they are also looking for better ways of identifying the hidden gems among those consumers with little credit track record,” Ken Paterson, Director of the Credit Advisory Service and author of the report comments. “Selectivity and super-segmentation might be better terms for describing the interests of issuers as they seek new ways to grow responsibly.”


One of the 7 Exhibits included in this report.

The report is 23 pages long and contains 7 exhibits.

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