Credit is risky business in GA - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Credit is risky business in GA

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Credit is risky business in Georgia. We rank as the sixth riskiest state in the country because of folks who are late on payments.

That makes it harder for a lot of people to qualify for credit. Len Dorminey at HeritageBank says that's not necessarily the case in Southwest Georgia.

Many banks in Atlanta are struggling because they tried to capitalize on the real estate industry bubble, but when it burst, they ended up in trouble. He says banks in South Georgia didn't see that high growth in only one area of their business, and didn't lower their lending standards.

"And because of that, because we didn't loosen the standards and because I think too that we have such a diversified product mix, that we're not focusing on just one particular niche and so when that niche went away for some of the banks, some of the newer banks, in the Atlanta area, it created problems, but our diversified mix helped us weather the storm much, much better."

Dorminey says underwriting practices at HeritageBank are the same now as they were 10 years ago, and if you meet the standards, you can get a loan.

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