Americans borrowed more money in April for the seventh straight month, but they cut back on using their credit cards.
The Federal Reserve says consumer borrowing rose by nearly $7.2 billion, fueled by greater demand for school and auto loans. A category that measures credit card use fell for the second time in three months. It has risen only twice since August 2008 — the height of the financial crisis.
High unemployment, steep gas prices and a weak housing market have forced people to resist paying with plastic.
The report includes auto loans, student loans and credit cards, but excludes mortgages and loans tied to real estate. The Fed will give a more complete picture of Americans' debt on Thursday when it issues its quarterly report on household net worth.
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