Credit debt in historical context
After World War II credit became part of the mass market. In 1958 Bank of America introduced a credit card that in 1976 was renamed Visa. The combination of aggressive merchandising and government laws prohibiting racial and ethnic discrimination in lending led to a huge expansion of borrowers. One reaction to the anti-discrimination laws was the use of impersonalized, computer-driven credit scores to determine loan eligibility. Now U.S. businesses buy 10 billion FICO scores annually.
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