Credit Crunch

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DEFINITION of 'Credit Crunch'

An economic condition in which investment capital is difficult to obtain. Banks and investors become wary of lending funds to corporations, which drives up the price of debt products for borrowers.

BREAKING DOWN 'Credit Crunch'

Credit crunches are usually considered to be an extension of recessions. A credit crunch makes it nearly impossible for companies to borrow because lenders are scared of bankruptcies or defaults, which results in higher rates. The consequence is a prolonged recession (or slower recovery), which occurs as a result of the shrinking credit supply.

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