The recent trends of consumers abandoning credit cards and credit card companies dropping consumers have resulted in eight million Americans ceasing to use credit cards in the past year.
The study was conducted by TransUnion, according to CNN. The credit bureau also concluded that 78 million Americans are currently without credit cards, compared to only 70 million last year.
Some experts, like Gerri Detweiler of Credit.com, find these statistics surprising.
“I’ve been covering this since 1987 and I don’t recall numbers like that ever going down. They’ve always gone up,” she said. “When people are scared or nervous about their own economic situation, or the economy in general, then they’re more likely to buckle down and avoid debt altogether,” she added.
Ben Woosley of CreditCards.com said that credit cards have been dropping consumers too, mostly in reaction to recent credit card reform that limited their ability to charge fees and raise rates. As a “knee-jerk reaction”, Woosley said, credit card companies have dropped consumers they consider risky.
Despite these trends, smart credit usage remains one of the best ways to repair bad credit history, and some experts, like Detweiler, believe consumers will start using credit cards again once their confidence with the economy rebuilds.