Consumers are making a tentative return to credit cards, loans, store instalment cards and car finance.
There was a gradual improvement in the take-up of consumer finance during the first three months of the year, according to the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA).
Total consumer finance provided by FLA members grew by 9% in March, compared with March 2011.
The car finance market has consistently proven to be strong, even during the downturn, and March was no exception, with credit increasing by more than a fifth (22%) compared with the same month last year.
In total, FLA members lent £5.5 billion to consumers in March, with £2.8 billion lent through credit cards and personal loans – a 2% rise on March 2011.
Borrowing on store instalment cards – used to pay down store credit each month – increased by 12% in the month.
Standard store cards were the one area that people appear to be turning their backs on, as borrowing fell to just £116 million – a 12% annual decline.
"Our figures show a slight rise in most markets, which suggests that consumer confidence is showing signs of a tentative return," said Fiona Hoyle, head of consumer finance at the FLA.
"But many consumers continue to be cautious, reinforcing the need for the Government to make sure that their proposed changes to consumer credit regulation do not limit the supply of affordable, responsibly-provided credit."
Find the best credit card rates - Compare credit cards
Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
Moneyfacts.co.uk will, like most other websites, place cookies onto your computer’s
hard drive. This includes tracking cookies.