SOURCE: Credit Karma

February 10, 2011 08:00 ET

Consumer Credit Scores Drop Two Points Since January 2010

Seven States Have Fair to Poor Credit Scores, According to CreditKarma.com

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - February 10, 2011) - CreditKarma.com, the consumer's credit advocate, today released its U.S. Credit Score Climate Report with trend data for January 2011. Nationally, credit scores are 667, down one point since December 2010 and down two points from January 2010. Consumers in six metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) had a credit score decrease greater than the national average of two points since January 2010, including:

  • Chicago, Houston and Seattle -- credit score decreased three points
  • New York -- credit score decreased four points
  • Los Angeles and Philadelphia -- credit score decreased five points

Additionally, seven states continue to have fair to poor credit scores of 650 or lower, including Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and South Carolina.

Since January 2010, the average consumer with an account:

  • Decreased credit card debt nine percent to $7,200
  • Decreased home mortgage loans four percent to $173,967
  • Decreased home equity five percent to $49,469
  • Increased auto loans three percent to $15,140
  • Increased student loans nine percent to $28,715

"The average national credit score dropped only slightly down from a year ago, reflecting consumers are making efforts to take control of their debt," said Ken Lin, CEO of CreditKarma.com. "The data suggests if consumers maintain this path of financial responsibility, the downward trend for credit scores will continue to slow and ultimately will begin to increase again."

Other key findings include:

  • Massachusetts has the highest credit score nationally with an average score of 685.

  • With an average credit score of 631, Mississippi has the lowest credit score nationally.

  • Consumers in 17 states lowered their credit card debt more than the national average of nine percent since January 2010.

  • Only two states increased their credit card debt since January 2010. New Mexico increased credit card debt three percent and North Dakota increased credit card debt two 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 157,588 CreditKarma.com user scores.

About CreditKarma.com
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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