WASHINGTON – Americans cut back on using their credit cards in July for the second straight month, while taking on more debt to buy cars and attend school.
The Federal Reserve says consumers increased their borrowing $10.4 billion in July from June to a record high of $2.85 trillion. That followed an $11.9 billion gain in June.
A measure of borrowing that includes credit card debt fell $1.8 billion in July following an even larger $3.7 billion decline in June. A category that includes auto loans and student loans increased $12.3 billion after an even larger $15.6 billion gain in June.
The reduction in credit card debt suggests that consumers remain cautious about accumulating high-interest debt. That could hold back consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of economic activity.