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18 February 2015

Metro Atlantans Increased Their Credit Card Debt by Over $800 Million During 2014 Holiday Season

Shoppers in metro Atlanta were not scared to use their credit cards during the 2014 holiday season.

Data released by credit reporting agency Equifax shows metro Atlanta consumers increased their credit card debt by $809,526,693 in December 2014. That represented a 7.43% increase from the $10,891,215,478 logged in December 2013.

"A rise in credit card debt indicates consumers are beginning to feel more confident about the economy and their personal finances," said Trey Loughran, president of Equifax Personal Information Solutions. "During the recession, many consumers felt uncertain about their financial futures. Consumers responsibly accessing credit is a positive sign for a healthy U.S. economy."

Total consumer credit card debt rose to $642 billion in December, a nearly 6 percent jump compared to $607 billion in December 2013. This is the highest that credit card debt has been since April 2010. Despite the increase in total debt, however, utilization, that is the percentage of total credit limit used, increased by less than 1 percent compared to the same time last year and remains down nearly 16 percent from the peak in early 2010.