Credit Card Debt Decreases 15 Percent Nationally

Despite Debt Decreases, Credit Scores Still Falling, According to CreditKarma.com

March 10, 2011

San Francisco -

Credit Karma (www.creditkarma.com), today released its U.S. Credit Score Climate Report with trend data for February 2011. Since January 2011, credit card debt amongst consumers with an account has remained the same. Since February 2010, credit card debt decreased 15 percent to $7,168 nationally with every state lowering its credit card debt. In addition, consumers in 11 states dropped their balances more than the national average of 15 percent, including:


  1. Wisconsin — decreased by 36 percent
  2. Idaho — decreased by 22 percent
  3. Arkansas, Hawaii, Nevada and Rhode Island — decreased by 18 percent
  4. Tennessee — decreased by 17 percent
  5. Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota and Massachusetts — decreased by 16 percent

Montana and Louisiana lowered their credit card debt the least at seven percent.
In February 2011, the average consumer with an account:

  1. Decreased home mortgage debt four percent to $171,969 since February 2010
  2. Decreased home equity debt seven percent to $48,855 since February 2010
  3. Increased auto loan debt by 2 percent to $15,171 since February 2010
  4. Increased student loan debt by eight percent to $29,151 since February 2010

Nationally, the average credit score is 665, down two points from January and four points from February 2010. Additionally, nine states have a credit score below 650 which is considered poor. These states include Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia.

Other key findings include:


  1. Massachusetts, New Jersey and California continue to have the highest credit scores in the country at 684, 683 and 682. Mississippi has the lowest credit score at 631.
  2. Student loan debt saw the biggest increase in the Midwest at 11 percent, while the Northeast and the South tied for the largest increases in auto loans at three percent.
  3. Mortgage loan debt decreased the most in the West by six percent, followed by the South at three percent, the Northeast by two percent and the Midwest by half a percent.

Methodology
Each month, the CreditKarma.com U.S. Consumer Credit Score Climate Report compares the current credit scores of its user base with previous scores pulled at least 30 days prior and no more than 90 days prior to the stated month. This month's report includes a comparison of more than 180,875 CreditKarma.com user scores.
About Credit Karma
CreditKarma.com is a completely free credit management service that enables consumers to put their credit to work for their overall financial health by providing them with customized savings recommendations. CreditKarma.com's goal is to help its more than 2 million users realize the everyday cost savings of having a good credit score by providing free credit scores, as well as a range of tools to help consumers improve their financial situation.
For more information, visit www.creditkarma.com.


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