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GMAC Forced to Tighten Lending Requirements

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Even if you are among the shrinking number of Americans who want to snag a screaming deal on a new GM vehicle, better make sure you have cash on hand or that your credit score is at least 700. Reports Automotive News, yesterday GMAC Financial Services announced "it will only lend money to prime borrowers with credit scores of more than 700."

Automotive News claim that one report indicates this will quash about 25 percent of new car loans. Predictably, GMAC brass explains the move by citing economic instability and decreasing ability of the financing organization to tap into capital and credit markets. Said GMAC spokesperson Sue Mallino, "this is an unprecedented credit market environment right now."

Despite these cautionary moves, Standard & Poor's as of yesterday was still considering downgrading credit ratings for both GMAC and GM (which owns 49 percent of GMAC shares). As to the other 51 percent of GMAC shares, GM sold them to Cerberus in 2006. The Wall Street Journal speculates that a GM/Chrysler merger might take place with GM selling its remaining GMAC holdings to Cerberus in exchange for the acquisition of Chrysler.--Colin Mathews
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