The total amount of debt held by Americans nationwide fell to $13.4 trillion, the second straight year in which consumers reduced what they owe to lenders, according to the latest statistics from the Federal Reserve Board. Meanwhile, the net worth of all U.S. Households rose to $56.8 trillion duringthe fourth quarter of last year, up $2.1 trillion from the previous three-month period, based on assets of $70.7 trillion.
Many consumers have been able to successfully reduce the amount of debt they carry by limiting purchases, particularly made with credit cards, and increasing the amount they pay into their outstanding balances every month.
Some also may have seen their debt reduced not because of more conscientious bill payment, but rather as a result of bank write offs. However, all major banks in the U.S. have reported continual declines in the amount of delinquency and charge offs they saw for credit card debt in nearly every month for the last two years.