Big lenders — like American Express, Bank of America, Citigroup and even the retailer Target — have begun tightening standards for applicants and are culling their portfolios of the riskiest customers. Capital One, another big issuer, for example, has aggressively shut down inactive accounts and reduced customer credit lines by 4.5 percent in the second quarter from the previous period, according to regulatory filings.
-- "Consumers Feel the Next Crisis: It's Credit Cards," NYT, Oct 29, 08
Emphasis mine. So, your credit is only as good as your shopping habits or mortgage lender? This story seems a little scanty on details. I want to know which stores raise red alerts, and which mortgage companies cause the alarm to go off.
I also went and checked the Capital One numbers for myself. I think the numbers tell a much more interesting story.