Americans Went Credit Crazy in November—And That's a Good Thing

Is all that credit card debt really such a good idea?

Americans got back into borrowing in a big way in November, wildly exceeding forecasters' expectations. Consumer borrowing grew 10 percent, the largest monthly increase since 2001, pushing credit expansion back toward its pre-crash trend and giving more credence to hopes of a stronger economy in 2012.

The biggest increase came in student loans guaranteed by the government (more people go to school during economic downturns) and in auto loans, but the more interesting number involves credit-card spending.

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