While many financial experts have long credited these declines to consumers being wiser about how much credit card debt they take on and pay off every month, some are now wondering whether another reason exists. The New York Times said that many are increasingly of the belief that an increase in charge offs, credit card debt lenders believe they will never recoup, could be the real culprit.
"There is a lot of debate going on right now among economists" Cristian deRitis, the director of credit analytics with Moody’s, told the paper. "Is there truly deleveraging or are charge offs removing a lot of balances?"
Another possible reason for the declines, which is related to charge offs, is that many consumers may have seen their rating decline so sharply that they can no longer get approval from lenders on applications, and therefore are unable to take on credit card debt as they once did.