For the first time since 1981, commercial banks' credit card loans shrank last year as recession-weary consumers moved to reduce their debt burdens.

Total card loans outstanding fell by 1.9%, to $136.4 billion, according to American Banker's annual survey of consumer lending.

Limited Time Offer

Save $400 off your subscription. Special offer ends April 30, 2017.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.