As the economy continues to struggle to recover from its worst downturn since the Great Depression, many consumers have been unable to pay bills, resulting in a downgrade of their personal credit score. Many have been forced to seek out alternative credit data when applying for loans or credit, straying from popular credit cards and turning to prepaid cards. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that many citizens have been turning to this method in record numbers. According to Mercator Advisory Group of Boston, the use of prepaid cards has risen from $12 billion in 2008 to $42 billion last year. The group further stated that total use this year will most likely top $70 billion. Many consumers enjoy the ease with which they can obtain the cards. “They don’t give you a whole run-around and have you send in your life story,” said Kimberly Elder, a Florida resident. "And I paid a lot more in fees to the bank than I pay now." According to many experts, there are both negatives and positives to getting cards. In a recent interview on WALA-TV, Derica Williams said that while the cards have no interest rates and can help people stay on a budget, many car rentals and hotels don't accept them as a form of payment.