SOURCE: Credit Karma

February 17, 2010 06:00 ET

Consumer Credit Scores Drop in January 2010

Credit Scores Down More Than Five Points in Three States, According to Credit Karma

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - February 17, 2010) -  Credit Karma (www.creditkarma.com), the consumer's credit advocate, today released its U.S. Credit Score Climate Report with trend data for January 2010. On average, nationally, credit scores dropped by two points in January to 669, marking the first time credit scores have dropped below 670 in 12 months. In addition, consumers in three states managed to lower their credit scores by more than five points. These include:

  • Louisiana - credit scores dropped from 645 to 639
  • Michigan - credit scores dropped from 662 to 657
  • Missouri - credit scores dropped from 663 to 656

On a positive note, consumers with credit cards paid down their debt by 2% nationally since December 2009. In January 2010, the average consumer with an account had:

  • $7,925 in credit card debt
  • $180,190 in home mortgage loans
  • $51,919 in home equity loans
  • $14,736 in auto loans
  • $26,337 in student loans

In addition, consumers in four states paid down their credit card by more than 5%. These include:

  • Kentucky - paid down credit card debt by 6%
  • Minnesota - paid down credit card debt by 7%
  • Oregon - paid down credit card debt by 7%
  • West Virginia - paid down credit card debt by 8%

Here are some other key findings:

  • Credit scores in Texas, North Carolina and South Carolina increased their credit scores by one or two points. The current average credit scores are 660, 664 and 648 respectively.
  • Consumers in the Miami MSA started 2010 with the lowest credit scores nationwide. The average credit score in Miami is 654, which is 15 points below the national average.
  • Consumers in the Denver and New York MSAs were the only consumers to charge more on their credit cards in January 2010. In these MSAs, credit card debt increased by two and four percent respectively.

Methodology
Each month, the Credit Karma 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 100,500 Credit Karma user scores.

About Credit Karma
Credit Karma enables consumers to put their credit to work for their overall financial health. Credit Karma's goal is to help its more than 1 million users realize the everyday cost savings of having a good credit score by providing a range of tools and resources to help consumers improve their financial situation. For more information, visit www.creditkarma.com.

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