The recent economic downturn caused many consumers to reassess the ways in which they dealt with credit card debt, and millions seem to have been successful in slashing their reliance on their accounts.
Between 2007 and 2010, the amount of credit card debt carried by the average American family as a portion of their total outstanding balances took a significant tumble to just 2.9 percent, down from 3.5 percent, according to new data from the Federal Reserve Board's most recent Survey of Consumer Finances. Further, the percentage of families nationwide who carried a balance on these accounts declined to 39.4 percent of all households, down from 46.1 percent three years prior.
And those who carried a balance were also able to successfully cut them, the report said. The median balance from those who carried one fell about 16.1 percent to just $2,600, and the average balance dropped 7.8 percent to $7,100.
Many consumers also saw seriously delinquent credit card accounts written off by lenders as uncollectable during this time, and those who did so may have had to seek out various forms of debt relief.