Consumer borrowing rises in March

Americans appear to have felt more confident with their finances during March, as consumer borrowing increased for the sixth straight month.

Revolving credit, which includes credit cards, increased 2.9 percent during the month, marking the first rise in this category all year. In 2009, revolving debt fell 9.6 percent and in 2010 it fell 7.5 percent. These declines occurred in large part due to consumers consciously reducing their credit card use and debt during the recession.

“Consumers are feeling a little more confident about the economic outlook and their own financial situation,” Russell Price, senior economist at Ameriprise Financial Inc., told Bloomberg. “Things will improve incrementally from here. As job growth continues, we should continue to see pretty good consumer spending.”

With consumers looking to use their credit cards more to make purchases, many may be in the market for low-rate cards. However, some consumers may not be eligible for an affordable rate because they have bad credit resulting from an unverifiable mark on their credit reports.

In addition to credit reporting inaccuracies, consumers may also be able to dispute any marks that are unfairly attributed to them, including items that cannot be proven. Consumers can challenge credit companies that report a negative mark without following fair billing, collecting or reporting practices as outlined by federal law. For some individuals, the removal of these unfair blemishes may result in a much needed credit boost.