Consumers borrowed more than twice as much as economists predicted in June as the slump in real estate prices prevented homeowners from using home equity lines of credit.
Consumer credit rose by $14.3 billion, or an annual rate of 6.7%, the most since November, to $2.59 trillion, the Federal Reserve Board said in a report issued Thursday.
Economists on average had forecast an increase of $6.3 billion.
In May, credit rose by $8.1 billion, or 3.8%.
"Consumers are stressed, and some who are short of cash are relying more on credit cards," Joseph Brusuelas, chief economist at Merk Investments LLC in Palo Alto, Calif., said before the report was issued.
Revolving debt such as credit cards increased by $5.5 billion, according to the Fed. Nonrevolving debt, including auto loans, increased by $8.8 billion.