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Back when the credit crisis really began a little over a year ago—Sept. 23, 2008—Maryann Von Seggern, director of Cisco Capital was at a staff meeting with Cisco’s channel chief Keith Goodwin in the networking giant’s San Jose, Calif., headquarters.

“We found out people’s bank accounts had been frozen,” she says, talking about how all of the sudden everything became absolutely dire.

And while Von Seggern doesn’t claim to have seen the meltdown coming, she says Cisco Capital started to see “a huge uptick in our financing propensities in 2007. This was before anybody realized we were headed for a meltdown.”

She says back then banks were starting to experience their first losses from the subprime loans. That’s when Cisco’s customers and partners started to move to “use us in a much more significant way,” Von Seggern says.

“Fast forward to the fall 2008–we saw everybody just stopped.”

CFOs were afraid to make any purchases that would put funds through their bank lines. And banks were scrambling to clean up their balance sheets and “give haircuts to any credit lines,” says Von Seggern, something that hurt anyone who was purchasing through Cisco channel partners and other solution providers everywhere.

VARs have told Channel Insider that banks pulled in terms and made everything harder.

“In September everything paused, and then we started to see demand pick up again as customers looked to use Cisco Capital as an alternate source of funds.”

Now that a year has passed and we’ve been weathering a deep recession for more than a year, are things getting better yet? Von Seggern says she talks to banks every day and that banks have started to lend to each other again.

“Things have started to open back up,” she says. “Not as quickly as Ben Bernanke and our president would like to see. And banks will never return to the heyday of 2007. But credit is very slowly coming back.”