More consumers handling credit cards better

In the past, a large number of financial experts have attributed the steep declines in credit card charge offs and debt to consumers having been locked out of the borrowing system as a result of bad credit scores, but this may not be the case.

A number of recent studies are now painting a more complete picture of the way in which consumers have reduced their credit card debts over the last few years, and to the surprise of some, previous charge offs that lowered borrowers’ credit ratings aren’t necessarily the driving factor, according to a report from The Street. In fact, consumers have been significantly more conscientious about paying down their outstanding debts to manageable levels.

One recent study by the credit rating agency Experian shows just 14 percent of Americans use 50 percent or more of their available credit, and 37 percent pay their entire balance off every month, the report said.

The recession may have caused many to be unable to gain access to new lines of credit, but also changed the attitudes of many borrowers to the point that they were uncomfortable with large debt levels and worked hard to cut into them.