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Increase in student, auto loans

Washington - Americans took out more student and auto loans in September to boost consumer borrowing to a record level. But they cut back on credit card borrowing, a sign many remain cautious about taking on high-interest debt.

Total consumer borrowing rose $11.4 billion in September compared with August, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday. Total consumer debt outstanding, which excludes mortgages and other housing-related borrowing, stands at $2.74 trillion — the highest level on record.

The increase was driven entirely by a category that consists mostly of student and auto loans. Borrowing in that category increased $14.3 billion. Credit card borrowing fell $2.9 billion, the third drop in four months.

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