The amount of revolving credit – the type most commonly associated with consumer credit card debt – carried nationwide spiked in December, reversing a trend of continued declines that had lasted more than two years, according to the latest monthly statistics from the Federal Reserve Board. Overall, credit card debt climbed 3.5 percent to $800.5 billion, up from the $798.2 billion recorded in November.
However, even despite the increases, credit card debt still declined from the third quarter, when it finished at $806.1 billion, to the fourth, the report said. Similarly, it was down significantly from the figure observed at the end of 2009, when it was recorded at $865.8 billion.
The increase came as a bit of a surprise to some experts, as many polls found consumers pledging to use alternative forms of payment, including debit cards and cash, to purchase gifts during the holiday season, rather than taking on more credit card debt.