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With the exception of Warren Buffet, Oprah, Bill Gates, and the rest of the world’s wealthiest people, we are all broke. According to the Federal Reserve Bank NY, since 2008, the overall household debt, including mortgages, car loans, student loans, and credit cards decreased by over $1 trillion. Following five years of borrowing and spending, and barely treading above the tumultuous waters of the Debt Sea — now, millions of American consumers are finally seeing some relief.

Across the board, American consumers are changing their habits and are becoming more responsible for their finances and more concerned about their credit health. These changes in consumer behavior are proving beneficial for American consumers fighting debt in the form of student loans, car loans, mortgages, or other large personal or business expense.

Consumers have changed their habits in a variety of ways. And you too can make a big difference in your wallet, by following a few simple steps.

Get Shorter Loan Terms: The trend seems to be that homeowners are getting shorter mortgages. In the first quarter, 34% of refinancers paid off their 30-year loan and changed to a 15- or 20- year mortgage. "Consumers want to pay of their home down faster than ever before," a Credit-Land representative said. "Shorter-term loans are becoming more and more popular." People are eager to pay off their debt, and are no longer satisfied with their debt piling up uncontrollably. In the third quarter of 2008, the falling household debt went from $12.5 trillion to $11.4 trillion in the second quarter of this year, according to the Federal Reserve.

Know Your Bank. It seems that another reason for the widespread debt reduction stems from tighter credit card standards applied by the bank. These new regulations make it extremely difficult for consumers with bad credit history to borrow money. As banks continue to give credit to established account holders, consumers with weak credit histories suffer.

Save More:Another reason for debt reduction can be attributed to the fact that consumers are simply saving more. The American disposable income rate which measures how much Americans save was 5% in July of this month, which is quadruple what it was in 2005. All of this data shows a paradigm shift in the American consumer.

Spend Less: Overall, there seems to be an increase in the consumers who have altered their spending habits in order to live within their means. The new fiscal trend may be that Americans begin stepping up to the plate and begin taking responsibility for their money. Analysts warn that this could only be a temporary trend and to not count our chickens before they hatch. Previous economic downturns have not had a lasting effect of America’s spending habits. “Research has shown that once consumers get out of economic turmoil they may go on shopping binges,” a Credit-Land representative said. “The longer that people practice these fiscally responsible tactics, the more engrained these practices will be.”