Over one quarter of consumers with active credit accounts, or 43 million people, now have credit scores below 600. A low credit score is like an albatross that will make it harder for all those people to get loans or credit at favorable rates for months and maybe years to come, if they can get access to credit at all. Here's how it shapes up:

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Below 600: 25.5%

600-649: 9.5%

650-699: 11.9%

700 and up: 53.1%

Meanwhile, the definition of sub-prime, which used to mean those with scores of 580 and lower, has been expanded to mean folks with scores worse than 640 or even 660. Which is now more than 35% of the population.

But wait, there's more. The "shadow inventory" of potential foreclosures is still hanging over the country. A foreclosure can drop a credit score by 150 points. And what about the 26 million unemployed souls in the country? Think their credit is going to improve until they get jobs? Once people sort out their finances and get re-employed, their credit troubles will be hanging over them for years.

Will bad credit mortgages become the norm in the near future?

If you need a bad credit home loan today, complete the form on this site. Lenders will go to work for you and see what they can come up with.