Nationwide credit card debt could continue to decline

Nationwide credit card debt could continue to decline National consumer credit card debt has shrunk to $822 billion in recent months, and now makes up just 6.4 percent of all outstanding balances Americans owe to financial institutions, according to a report from CNN Money. That's down from 7.6 percent in 2004. In addition, the total has fallen 15.5 percent since the beginning of the recession thanks to a decline of $151 billion.

Meanwhile, the growth rate for credit card debt has been slowing since early 2008, but may soon begin expanding again, the report said. Even if the rate reverses itself, it would still take another two years to reach pre-recession levels.

The recession seems to have altered consumer attitudes toward credit card debt, as many have reported reducing their reliance on these cards for spending, and have also increased the rates at which they pay into the accounts every month.