Consumers borrowing more, defaulting less

With the economy continuing to improve, many consumers are adopting their pre-recession credit card habits, which has led to growing profits for many of the country's top credit card lenders and payment processing companies.

Consumer credit card use has been steadily growing in recent months and that trend is expected to continue into at least the near future. But for the time being, it's spelling big profits for lenders and payment processors alike, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. Many of the nation's top credit card lenders are enjoying both the delinquency rate, which hovers at or near all-time lows, and the increased card use that comes with growing consumer confidence.

The new card use trends are also a boon for payment processors like Visa and MasterCard, which have benefited from both increased credit card use and the debit use that became quite popular during the downturn, the report said.

Consumers who are just returning to using credit cards after the recession may want to consider checking their credit report first. Many of these documents contain questionable marks that may be unfairly lowering Americans' credit ratings and leading them to face higher interest rates.