U.S. Consumer Credit Soars 10% in March, Most Since 2001

Propelled mostly by auto and student loans, U.S. consumer credit soared 10 percent, or $21.4 billion, in March, the largest monthly jump since November 2001, according to figures released today by the Federal Reserve.
The total for both revolving accounts (mostly credit cards) and non-revolving accounts (primarily auto, student and personal loans) reached $2.54 trillion.
Non-revolving accounts led with an 11.3 percent increase, while credit card accounts rose 7.8 percent.
The total for March blew past most economists’ estimates, which ranged from increases of $4.5 billion to $15 billion.
Consumer credit had already started 2012 with a major milestone in January, marking the first jump over the $2.5 trillion mark in almost three years – a span of time that mostly saw a steady reduction in outstanding loan balances.
March marked the seventh straight month of overall consumer credit gains as Americans continue to purchase more vehicles, opt more for plastic to make store and online purchases.
Some are also taking advantage of federally subsidized student loans before interest rates are set to double July 1.
Lawmakers are bickering to reach a compromise on how to extend the current 3.4 percent interest rate on Stafford loans affecting 7.4 million students.
U.S. sales of cars and light trucks have surpasses a 14 million annual pace in each of the past four months, the best performance since 2008, according to Ward’s Automotive Group.
The Fed’s consumer credit report does not include loans tied to real estate, such as mortgages.
If you live in Finland and are in need of consumer credit (kulutusluotto), you may wish to approach Zmarta to borrow money for a car, repair or a larger purchase and manage unexpected expenses.

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