BANDON, Ore. — Financial Institutions apparently are responding to public and congressional pressure to improve loan approvals, including auto loans, according to the latest analysis from CNW Research.

While Congress did not offer much oversight when releasing TARP funds, the group was very vocal, calling financial leaders to the mat when the lending markets remained tight for consumers.

Basically, Congress accused lenders of not utilizing these funds to offer consumers more loans.

In response to public outrage, CNW Research reports that the average FICO score for consumers who financed a used vehicle dropped to 673, compared with 692 in February of last year and 709 in June of 2008.

Art Spinella, of CNW Research, explained, "For all of the concern about banks ‘hording TARP money' and not lending enough, they have, in fact, twisted the spigot so a few more lending drips are flowing to a bit riskier customers. Loan approvals also rose."

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