New financial data indicates consumers increased their borrowing activity in the month of September.
According to numbers released by the Federal Reserve, credit levels rose $7.4 billion in September, far more than the $5.2 billion jump that was forecast by financial experts, according to a survey conducted by Bloomberg News.
Non-revolving debt, which details the amount of borrowing consumers do that's unrelated to credit card purchases — such as student and car loans — accounted for the largest portion of the rise.
"Higher auto sales drove an increase in the amount of borrowing," Guy LeBas, a financial strategist for a Philadelphia-based consultancy firm, told Bloomberg. "The credit-card side of the report reflects elevated unemployment, which is leaving consumers hesitant to add to their debt."
Revolving debt, which includes credit cards, dipped by $627 million during the month, the report found.
Consumers may have decreased their credit card debt after putting a greater focus on paying off their bills. Doing this on a consistent basis can help consumers improve their credit scores, which can diminish if debt levels are high or payments are regularly late.