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Consumer borrowing surged in May with increases in credit card debt, auto loans

Posted at 7:15 PM, Jul 09, 2021

WASHINGTON -- Total consumer credit, or the amount of borrowing Americans did, in May rose by 10%, roughly $35.3 billion according to the Federal Reserve.

The larger-than-expected increase was driven by borrowing on credit cards, as well as auto and student loans showing solid gains in the month of May.

Average credit scores improved in 2020, as millions of Americans saved money from not commuting to work, potentially saving on childcare and other day-to-day costs that were adjusted because of pandemic restrictions. That means millions of Americans could get better rates for credit cards and loans.

It was also the fourth straight month of growth in consumer borrowing, after April saw an increase of $20 billion.

May's increase of more than $35 billion is the largest one-month gain on record, which date back to 1943.