WASHINGTON (4/9/10)--Consumers took out almost 5.6% fewer loans in February than they did in January, according to the Federal Reserve's Consumer Credit statistics released Thursday. Almost all lenders--including credit unions--saw their consumer loans outstanding drop for the month. The lone exception: the federal government. Consumers still racked up more than $2.45 trillion in loans for February. That compares with January's nearly $2.46 trillion and December's nearly $2.45 trillion. Revolving credit, which is largely credit-card borrowing, declined at a 13.1% annual pace during February, accounting for $858.1 billion in loans compared with January's $867.6 billion. In January, consumers typically rein in their card payments because they've run up larger balances during the holidays, said analysts in The Wall Street Journal (April 8). They attributed part of the February decline to winter storms that prevented consumers from leaving home. Nonrevolving credit--loans for cars, boats and education--totaled $1.589 trillion, down from $1.591 trillion. At credit unions, loans outstanding for February totaled $231.6 billion, down from the $234 billion they loaned out in January. That compares with loans made during the first quarter 2009 that totaled $233.3 billion. Revolving loans at credit unions totaled $34.4 billion--a decline from $35.1 billion in January but the same as loans made in December. During first quarter 2009, credit unions made $32.2 billion in revolving loans. Nonrevolving loans from credit unions totaled $197.2 billion in February. In January, they loaned $198.9 billion out to members. In first quarter 2009, they loaned out $201.1 billion.