In this chapter we look at the second phase of credit management — customer acquisition. The customer acquisition process covers the events that occur between the time when someone applies for credit and the point when a credit agreement is created. This involves the following tasks: Assessing the creditworthiness of each applicant.Deciding whether to accept or reject applications on the basis of each applicant’s creditworthiness.Deciding the terms that will be offered to accepted applicants.Undertaking the necessary logistical processes to create credit agreements, open accounts and make funds available to customers. The main part of the acquisition process is focused around the assessment of each applicant’s creditworthiness. At one time organizations employed large teams of underwriters to manually assess applications. When deciding if someone was creditworthy an underwriter would assess their application using a number of different criteria, often referred to as the ‘Cs’ of credit. These were the applicant’s Capacity to repay debt (disposable income), their Character (intent to repay), current Conditions (of the economy) and any Capital or Collateral that the applicant could provide as security (Savery 1977).
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