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Consumers Reduce Credit Card Borrowing Again

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Consumers Reduce Credit Card borrowing AgainRevolving credit, the type typically associated with credit card debt, fell 4.1 percent in February, marking the second straight month of declines after a surprising spike in the final month of 2010, according to the latest monthly statistics from the Federal Reserve Board. January’s total fell 5.9 percent after a 3 percent increase in December.

Currently, consumers owe a total of $794 billion on their credit card accounts, down from $796.7 billion in January and $800.7 billion at the end of last year, the report said.

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However, despite these decreases in credit card borrowing, overall consumer credit ticked up 3.8 percent due to a 7.7 percent increase in nonrevolving credit, the type associated with close-ended loans like those for cars and mortgages, the report said. Consumers now owe nearly $1.63 trillion on these lines of credit, up from less than $1.62 trillion in January.

These figures indicate that while consumers may be more comfortable with their finances in general, they are still cautious of the financial fallout that can occur with credit cards, and have not returned to their old borrowing habits.

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