A new study has found that the national recession has changed the way consumers obtain and pay off their credit card debt considerably over the last three years.
According to a new report from the credit monitoring bureau Experian, the nationwide number of new credit card accounts that have been opened in the last three years declined 26 percent. In addition, the way consumers have used their lines of credit has also changed dramatically.
"This implies that many American consumers are relying less on cards and potentially trying to pay down debt," said Michele Raneri, Experian’s senior director of analytics.
The study also looked at how consumers in the nation’s 20 largest metropolitan areas used their credit, and found that New Yorkers carry the most cards – 3.77 on average – of anyone in the country. Pittsburgh residents, meanwhile, came in second, with 3.6 per person.
Many consumers may have found it easier to reduce their total debt as a result of the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act, which was designed to help consumers manage their credit more wisely.