More people turning to debit over credit

As consumers deal with credit card debt, many of them may be putting their debit cards or cash on the table when making purchases.

At least that’s been the observation of Chris Versace, who recently wrote a column for the Washington Times. Putting away their credit cards is a habit that bucks the trend of recent years, where more Americans may have put items on a charge card.

“Perhaps that is the point – people are cutting back not only on when they spend but how they spend,” Versace said.

There are a number of recent reports that support Versace’s observation. According to recent numbers from the Federal Reserve, the amount of revolving credit dropped 6.8 percent to $917 billion during the month of June. Much of revolving credit can be accounted for in credit card debt.

Furthermore, a study from the Nilson Report shows that debit cards accounted for 58.2 percent of card transactions during 2008. That number is expected to increase to 60.7 percent by 2011.