Consumer spending led to an increase in the average amount of credit card debt in 33 states across the country between the third and fourth quarter of 2010, according to a new report from the credit monitoring bureau TransUnion. Similarly, the amount of new credit card accounts granted to consumers grew 19.1 percent between that period and the same quarter in 2009.
Ezra Becker, vice president of research and consulting in TransUnion's financial services business unit, noted that this was the second time since the end of the recession that consumer credit card balances have increased, the report said. However, the rate was still 8.62 percent lower than it was at the end of 2009.
Many consumers may have reduced their credit card debt with more conscientious bill payments and controlled spending, but the vast majority of balance reduction was instead the result of greater charge offs by lenders.