For more than a year, consumers have consistently lowered their combined credit card debts by billions of dollars each month. This is due to a combination of tighter lending standards and an increased motivation among shoppers to avoid debt by paying with cash and debit cards.
However, a recent USA Today report notes that some people are going one step further by simply getting rid of all their credit cards or never applying for them in the first place. The newspaper noted that the number of new credit card accounts was down 46 percent from October 2008 to the same month in 2009.
Consumers interviewed in the piece generally said that their lives had become simpler and less stressful since rejecting credit cards, although there can be some difficulties with things like renting a car or hotel room.
Still, people who choose not to have credit card accounts may find that they can still be targeted by identity thieves who can inflict serious financial damage with a relatively small amount of personal information.