A recent report from Equifax shows that consumer borrowing is increasing, with the total credit balances for Americans hitting its highest level in more than five years in November 2014. In addition, non-mortgage and home-finance write-offs were at their second lowest level in eight years.

According to the

Equifax National Consumer Credit Trends Report, consumers had a total of $3.1 trillion in non-mortgage credit balances in November 2014. In addition, the total amount of non-mortgage write-offs year-to-date was $73.4 billion, while the total amount of home-finance write-offs was $91.2 billion for the same time period.

Amy Crews Cutts, senior vice president and chief economist at Equifax, states that while borrowing is once again increasing, the way consumers are borrowing has changed.

“Today, while auto loans make up 30.9 percent of non-mortgage consumer debt just as they did in December 2007 at the recession’s start, student loans have grown from 20.2 percent to a whopping 37.3 precent and bank- and retailer-issued credit cards are down to 21.9 percent of consumer debt from 31.4 percent,” said Cutts.

Other notable changes in borrowing habits include the number of new retail credit accounts opened January through September totaled 28.5 million, which was a 2.5 percent year-over-year increase and the highest amount since 2007. In addition, the total balance of new credit originating in that same time frame was $48.1 billion, the highest amount in six years and a year-over-year increase of 3.4 percent. For more information on how American consumers’ borrowing habits have changed, read the full article, “

Equifax: ‘Consumers Are Back in the Borrowing Business,’” on the Equifax Finance Blog.

This increase in spending shows that consumers are once again investing in products such as new homes, cars or their education.

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