CIT struggling U.S. credit crunch

CIT Group Inc. negotiates with overseas banks to find a steady stream of cheap funding to finance its core lending business.

Last week, the commercial finance company tapped an entire $7.3 billion credit line in an emergency action to help continue day-to-day operations and pay off debt. CIT executives said the company should have enough cash to operate for the rest of the year, but planned more asset sales.

CIT did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

The company is one of many finance companies to struggle in the deepening U.S. credit crunch. Chief Executive Jeffrey Peek has been scaling back CIT's exposure to consumer lending businesses. The company has about $90 billion of assets, more than $9 billion of which is in subprime mortgages.

Shares of CIT closed Thursday at $9.63 on the New York Stock Exchange. They fell 37 percent last week, and are down 60 percent this year.

CIT Group Inc. is a leading global commercial and consumer finance company, founded in 1908.

CIT has more than $74 billion in managed assets. CIT is a Fortune 500 company and is a part of the S&P 500 Index, and is a leading participant in vendor financing, factoring, equipment and transportation financing, Small Business Administration loans, and asset-based lending, and does business with more than 80% of the Fortune 1000.

The company's global headquarters are in New York City, and the company has more than 7,300 employees in locations throughout North America, Europe, Latin America, and Asia Pacific.