The struggling job market and slumping consumer confidence may have been what led fewer Americans to take on credit card debt during the month of July.
Consumers’ revolving credit – the type most commonly associated with credit card debt – fell for the first time in months in July, falling 5.2 percent to a total of $792.5 billion, according to the latest monthly consumer credit report released by the Federal Reserve Board. That’s down from the totals seen in both May ($793.3 billion) and June ($795.9 billion), and is more in line with debt totals seen at the end of the first quarter, which stood at $792.8 billion.
However, even as consumers used their credit cards less often, they also took out more nonrevolving credit – installment loans such as those for mortgages and new cars – the report said. In all, revolving credit jumped 11.2 percent in July to a total of more than $1.66 trillion.
Many consumers are now more wary of taking on credit card debt because of the way high balances affected their finances during the recent national recession.