Consumer Mortgage Debt Falls Three Percent Since April 2011

Credit scores fall one point from last month

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May 16, 2012

San Francisco, Calif. -

CreditKarma.com (www.creditkarma.com), the consumer's credit advocate, today released its U.S. Credit Score Climate Report with trend data for April 2012. Consumer credit card and mortgage spending slowed from a year ago, with the average credit card debt per consumer falling 13% to $5,650 and the average mortgage debt decreasing 3% to $166,631. Consumers in eight states decreased their mortgage by more than 5% from the same time last year, including:

  • Mississippi and Tennessee – down 7%
  • South Carolina, West Virginia and Wisconsin – down 6%
  • Alabama, Louisiana and Wyoming – down 5%

Credit scores fell one point nationally to 659 from March 2012 and the average consumer with an account:

  • Decreased home equity debt by 3.4% year-over-year to $46,391
  • Increased auto loan debt by 2.6% year-over-year to $15,538
  • Decreased student loan debt by 1.6% year-over-year to $29,103

“Part of the reason you see less mortgage debt and home equity debt is that the market no longer supports it,” said Ken Lin, CEO of CreditKarma.com. “It’s a buyers’ market and home prices have gone down over the last several years. Another factor is that many of the underwater homes have been foreclosed and the bad debt written off of the credit reports.”

Other key findings include:

  • Consumers in 36 states have more auto loan debt than a year ago. Montana (7%), New Mexico (6%), Wisconsin (6%), Massachusetts (5%) and Wyoming (5%) saw the biggest increases. Nevada and Mississippi decreased their auto loan debt the most at 3%.
  • Oklahoma (12%), Wyoming (11%) and Idaho (9%) paid down their student loan debt the most while Vermont (8%), Utah (7%) and Delaware (7%) saw the biggest increases.
  • Mississippi ($4,232), Louisiana ($4,504) and Alabama ($4,811) have the least amount of credit card debt while Connecticut ($6,876), Hawaii ($7,090) and Alaska ($7,096) have the most. Montana paid down its credit card debt the most at 11% to $5,572.

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 538,495 CreditKarma.com user scores.

About CreditKarma.com

CreditKarma.com provides more than 6 million consumers with free credit scores and access to free credit monitoring to help them realize the everyday cost savings of having good credit by offering personalized savings recommendations for credit cards, student, auto, mortgage and home equity loans. It also provides financial education and access to free tools that empower consumers to take charge of their financial health including the Credit Report Card, Credit Score Simulator and Credit Card Statistics. To learn more, visit www.creditkarma.com.