The U.S. credit market may not be surging, but it’s functioning. Mortgages are being closed, car loans made, and consumer and business credit extended. The hysteria of September and October has passed, at least for  now.

“Credit is still widely available, as along as consumers have good credit, proof of income, and money for a down payment,” observes Greg McBride, senior financial analyst at Bankrate.com. “Despite all the talk, the average American pays bills on time. The credit market is open to most consumers as long as they have some skin in the game.” McBride acknowledges that there was “a period after the failure of Lehman when the system was at risk.” But the “widespread perception that you can’t get a loan is flat-out false,” he adds. “Getting a loan is not an entitlement, though. Gone are the days when anyone with a pulse could get a loan larger than they could ever repay.”

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