Consumers eliminate credit card use for second month

14 Sep

Americans cut back on their credit card use in July for the second straight month as many remain cautious in the face of high unemployment and slow growth.

Consumers have been using credit cards much less since the 2008 credit crisis. Four years ago, Americans had $1.03 trillion in credit card debt, an all-time high. In July, it was $850.7 billion — or 17% lower.

During that same time, student loan debt has increased dramatically. The category that includes auto and student loans, along with other loans for items such as boats, has jumped to $1.85 trillion from $1.56 trillion in July 2008.

Finally, some of that debt has been removed by defaults, such as foreclosures. But Americans are also repairing their finances by paying down debts.

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