Consumers returning to credit card use in big way

Consumers returning to credit card use in big way Consumers seem to be more comfortable dealing with credit card debt once again these days, as the number of new cards issued to borrowers has grown significantly in the first eight months of the year.

Banks and retailers alike vastly expanded their credit card issuing efforts between January and August, leading to a surge in new accounts, according to the latest National Credit Trends Report from Equifax. In all, the number of new credit cards from banks grew 25 percent, jumping to 25.3 million from the 20.2 million in the same period last year. Meanwhile, those from retailers climbed 7 percent to a total of 21 million from last year's 19.7 million.

One reason for this might be that banks have dramatically increased issuing efforts where subprime borrowers are concerned, the report said. The number of bank credit cards issued to consumers with credit scores below 600 climbed 56 percent on a year-over-year basis.

Credit card borrowing is also expected to grow in the next month or so as consumers make a greater effort to wrap up their holiday shopping, and retailers will attempt to take advantage of this seasonal shift by offering more accounts.