More student loans boost consumer credit $11.4B

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WASHINGTON (AP) – Americans took out more student and auto loans in September to boost consumer borrowing to a record level. But they cut back on credit card borrowing, a sign many remain cautious about taking on high-interest debt.

The Federal Reserve says total consumer borrowing rose $11.4 billion in September compared to August. Total consumer debt outstanding, which excludes mortgages, stands at $2.74 billion – the highest level on record.

The increase occurred entirely in a category that consists mostly of student and auto loans. Borrowing in that category increased $14.3 billion. Credit card borrowing fell $2.9 billion, the third drop in four months.

Most of the gains appeared to be in student lending, which could reflect the start of the academic year. The figures are not seasonally adjusted.

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