Consumers’ borrowing habits have changed drastically

Experts have repeatedly suggested that consumers' borrowing habits changed drastically during and immediately following the recent recession, and now new evidence shows just how big that shift has been.

The amount of money being spent on credit cards has expanded in the last two years, rising 7.6 percent in 2010, and then 9.7 percent in 2011, according to new data from Fitch Ratings. However, during that time, the amount owed to lenders has fallen 8 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively, indicating that consumers are moving away from carrying debts from one month to the next.

Instead, borrowers are apparently more comfortable being what are known in the industry as "transactors," those who make purchases on their cards but pay down the balances in full every month, the report said.

Consumers making steps to reduce their outstanding debt is a great way to protect their credit standing, but so too is regularly ordering copies of their credit reports. Checking those files for unfair marks and working with a credit repair company may help to resolve these problems.