Some with bad credit being offered new cards with a catch

Many consumers who saw their credit scores slip during and immediately following the recession may not have had much access to credit in the last few years but a controversial new tactic is seeing them receive new offers.

The plan, born from a partnership between lenders and debt collection agencies, will grant subprime borrowers with long-dormant debts that fall outside their home states' statute of limitations the ability to open new credit card accounts provided they pay all or some of their outstanding balance, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. The institutions say that having access to credit once again may be worth the money to some of the borrowers who receive the offers.

However, the practice has also received some attention from federal authorities, who believe some of these offers may be somewhat misleading, the report said.

Consumers should avoid such offers that "re-age" an old derogatory account, making it appear that the late payment occurred recently rather than long ago, something that can depress credit scores. Unfairly reported credit report markings like these can sometimes be corrected with the help of a credit repair law firm.