Consumer credit increases despite drop in card use

The amount of money borrowed by American consumers rose for the seventh straight month despite the second drop in credit card use in the last three months.

The total amount of consumer credit in the U.S. rose 3.1 percent in the month of April to a total of nearly $2.43 trillion dollars, driven by a sharp increase in nonrevolving credit, according to the latest monthly statistics from the Federal Reserve Board. This increase came despite another decline in the amount of revolving credit – the kind most often associated with credit card debt – which fell to $790.1 billion, down from the $791.1 billion observed at the end of March.

Meanwhile, the value of nonrevolving credit – such as installment loans – rose to nearly $1.64 trillion, up 5.3 percent from the more than $1.63 trillion at the end of March, the report said. Overall, nonrevolving credit is up 4.7 percent from the end of last year.

Drops in revolving credit may be an indicator that consumers are shying away from credit card use, as charge offs in the last several months have steadily declined.