Credit card providers frequently avoid minority communities, deeming these often lower-income households too great a credit risk. But with the Census Bureau predicting that African-, Asian- and Hispanic-Americans will account for 45 percent of the U.S. population by 2020, ignoring these groups could be disastrously short-sighted.

With this in mind, Ken Klotz, president of Columbia Capital Corp., cites a growing need for credit in subprime lending markets, especially by those minority consumers who have yet to establish credit records. "We're not just talking about the social and economic benefits that credit opportunities can bring to minorities," he says. "We're also talking about an essentially untapped market that needs to be addressed."

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