The rise in credit card balances can be attributed to a few different factors. The first is consumer spending. As the economy continues to improve, Americans are becoming more confident and are more likely to secure credit cards in order to take advantage of offers and discounts. This is leading to an increase in purchases with credit cards, which in turn affects the amount of outstanding debt.
Another factor to consider is that credit card companies have made it easier to acquire credit cards, increasing access to credit and reducing the cost of credit. A third factor is that interest rates remain relatively low, making it easier for borrowers to take on more credit card debt.
Finally, the rise in online and mobile commerce has encouraged people to use credit cards more often. With more spending taking place online, consumers are relying more heavily on credit cards than ever before. Overall, these factors all contribute to the rise in credit card balances in the third quarter.