updated 3/7/2007 3:31:15 PM ET 2007-03-07T20:31:15

Consumers borrowing increased in January, reflecting an increase in auto loans.

Major Market Indices

The Federal Reserve reported Wednesday that consumer credit rose at a 3.2 percent annual rate in January, up from December’s 2.5 percent increase.

The gain was in line with expectations of analysts who believe faster wage growth would give consumers the confidence to take on more debt.

The category that includes auto loans rose at an annual rate of 4.4 percent in January, up sharply from December’s 2.9 percent increase.

However, the category of debt that includes credit cards slowed further in January, rising at a 1.1 percent rate, down from a 1.9 percent increase in December. Credit card debt had surged ahead at a 14.7 percent rate in November.

The increased borrowing pushed total consumer debt up by $6.4 billion to a record $2.41 trillion in January.

The Federal Reserve measure of consumer borrowing does not include mortgages or other loans secured by real estate.

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Data: Latest rates in the US

Home equity rates View rates in your area
Home equity type Today +/- Chart
$30K HELOC FICO 4.71%
$30K home equity loan FICO 5.26%
$75K home equity loan FICO 4.70%
Credit card rates View more rates
Card type Today +/- Last Week
Low Interest Cards 13.42%
13.42%
Cash Back Cards 17.94%
17.94%
Rewards Cards 17.14%
17.14%
Source: Bankrate.com