Following the 2008 recession, consumers began working to manage their debt better. As part of this, many paid off their credit cards and worked to stop using credit in their everyday purchases. However, that trend appears to be reversing as consumers open more and more new credit card accounts.
Data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York shows that by 2008's second quarter, there were more than 496 million credit card accounts open in the U.S. By the third quarter of 2010, that number had dropped to only 379 million. Today, however, the number of accounts has risen to 435 million, showing that consumers are once again using credit to make many purchases.
If consumers continue to open new accounts at this rate, experts have estimated that by the second quarter of 2018, the number of accounts will have reached or overtaken the 496 million from 2008.
While a shift in consumers' spending habits is driving the increase in accounts, it is not the sole reason. Credit card companies themselves are pushing consumers to open new accounts by sending out more card offers each year. In 2005, companies mailed out 6 billion card offers, but after the recession, those offers declined. The low was in 2009, when companies only sent out 1.8 billion offers. In 2015, however, that number had grown to 4 billion, enticing many consumers to open new lines of credit.
If you want more credit, check out MoneyTips' list of credit card offers.