WASHINGTON — In an effort to take some of the heat of the issue of credit card issuer practices and credit card debt, the American Bankers Association has suggested that Americans’ credit card debts are not as large as widely believed.

In a backgrounder to the issue released last week, the ABA cited a Government Accountability Office study which found “median credit card balance among families carrying a balance was $2,200 in 2004 (the most recent year this information is available), meaning that 50 percent of families with credit card debt owe more than $2,200, while 50 percent owe less than $2,200″

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