WASHINGTON (AP) - Americans increased their borrowing by $11.6 billion in March as a big increase in the category that covers auto and student loans offset the largest monthly drop in credit card borrowing in more than five years.
The Federal Reserve says the March increase in total debt was below the $13.6 billion increase in February and was the smallest monthly gain since September. Borrowing for student and auto loans rose a solid $14.2 billion, the third straight month of $14 billion-plus gains.
However, borrowing in the category that covers credit cards fell for a second straight month, dropping $2.6 billion following a decline of $514.5 million in February. The March contraction in credit card debt was the biggest since a $4.4 billion fall in December 2012.