Credit use reaches 27-year low

Many Americans indicated their plans to rely less on their credit cards this shopping season in a variety of seasonal polls.

New research confirms that many Americans have held true to their credit card debt reducing commitments.

Holiday shoppers used their credit cards less than ever before during the Thanksgiving weekend, marking an all-time low for the 27-year-old study, which analyzes consumer’s payment methods, The New York Times reports. Only 17 percent used the cards for purchases during this time, nearly half of the level indicated by similar surveys from 2009.

In addition, general credit use declined in the third quarter of 2010, the news source says. Visa and MasterCard both reported 11 percent drops in the volume of card transactions during this period.

“Cash is the route I’m taking this year, from past experiences with credit cards and being in debt and trying to pay it off for so many years,” Liz Gonzalez, a community-college employee in Signal Hill, California, told the Times.

Some are shunning card use for budgeting reasons, while others have been shut out of the system because of the recent rise in charge offs by issuers.