WASHINGTON – U.S. consumers borrowed more in November to buy cars and attend school, but stayed cautious with their credit cards.

The Federal Reserve said Tuesday that consumers increased their borrowing in November by $16 billion from October to a seasonally adjusted record of $2.77 trillion. Borrowing that covers autos and student loans increased $15.2 billion.

A category that measures credit card debt rose just $817 million.

The sharp difference in the borrowing gains illustrates a broader trend that began after the Great Recession.

Four years ago, Americans carried $1.03 trillion in credit card debt, an all-time high. In November, that figure was 16.5 percent lower.