Consumers may be returning to bad credit card habits

While many Americans have worked diligently to get their credit under control and rein in spending on their credit cards, some might be inching back toward some of the habits that may have landed them in trouble.

New data from Card Hub shows consumers began 2011 by paying down more than $32 billion in outstanding credit card debt, but by the time the year ended, borrowers' balances had actually risen by $64 billion, according to a report from the Christian Science Monitor. In addition, many experts believe the trend could continue the rest of the year, as many consumers racked up more debt during the holiday shopping season.

Indeed, during the third quarter of 2011, the amount of credit card debt consumers racked up increased by 154 percent on a year-over-year basis, the report said.

One way consumers may be able to keep their debt lower even when they use their credit cards to make a purchase is by searching for unfairly reported notations on their credit reports. By working with a credit repair attorney, they can get these markings corrected and find offers for cards with lower interest rates.