A third of UK credit limits are unused, despite a reduction of credit limits since 2008, according to data from credit analysts FICO. The figures reveal there is GBP50bn (USD79bn) worth of unspent credit.

FICO suggested that the unused credit facilities could be a consequence of several different factors; some of the available credit could be a result of cardholders who have been inactive for extended period and have possibly switched to other credit cards.

The data also showed that compared to 2011 there were reductions of 4.5% in total credit card exposure and 2.6% on cards in use.

Nigel Brayne, senior director of FICO’s Global Business Consulting, said: "There are pros and cons to having a large amount of credit card limits available; on the positive side, this indicates that many people have a solid ‘cushion’ in the event of financial hardship. On the negative side, card issuers must hold capital in reserve against open credit limits, so the unspent card limits also reduce the amount of capital lenders can make available to consumers for personal loans, auto loans and mortgage loans."

A recent FICO survey of US bank risk professionals suggested that American citizen’s interest in credit-based financial products is likely to reignite in 2013.

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Americans set to take on more debt in 2013

UK card spending rises and delinquencies drop