SOURCE: Credit Karma

October 07, 2009 06:00 ET

Consumers Nationwide Pay Down Credit Card Debt in September

Four States Show Double Digit Decreases in Credit Card Debt During the Quarter, According to Credit Karma's Unique Trend Data

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - October 7, 2009) - Credit Karma (www.creditkarma.com), the consumer's advocate for demystifying credit, today released its U.S. Credit Score Climate Report with trend data for September 2009. Consumer credit card debt decreased this month. In addition, from June to September credit card debt decreased by 4% nationally and four states experienced double digit decreases in credit card debt quarter over quarter. These include:

--  Nevada - 16% credit card debt decrease since June
--  Kentucky - 12% credit card debt decrease since June
--  Ohio - 10% credit card debt decrease since June
--  Tennessee - 10% credit card debt decrease since June
    

In September, the average consumer with an open account had:

--  $6,641 in credit card debt
--  $190,096 in home mortgage loans
--  $50,812 in home equity
--  $14,402 in auto loans
--  $26,295 in student loans
    

In addition, credit scores are on the rise for many consumers. 39% of consumer credit scores have increased, 29% have decreased, and 32% remained the same. The current average U.S. consumer credit score is 672, which is down two points since June and four points since the beginning of the year.

Here are some other key findings:

--  Louisiana had the highest increase in credit card debt from June to
    September. Credit card debt increased 15% during the quarter. The average
    Louisiana consumer with a credit card now has $5,812 in credit card debt
    
--  Texas had the highest percentage of increasing credit scores. During
    August, 41% of Texas consumers had their credit score increase; 29% credit
    score decrease; and 30% remained the same.
    
--  The Denver MSA, which had the highest percentage of decreasing credit
    scores in August, had the highest percentage of increasing credit scores in
    September with 42% of consumers seeing an increase. 26% of Denver consumers
    had their credit scores decrease in September and 32% remained the same.
    The increase in credit scores could be due to the fact that Denver
    consumers paid down credit card debt by 7% during the quarter.
    

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 72,000 Credit Karma user scores.

About Credit Karma

Credit Karma, the consumer's advocate for demystifying credit, is the only Web site that provides consumers free access to their credit score, plus a range of tools and information resources to help them monitor and manage the credit aspect of their financial health. Credit Karma's goal is to help consumers easily digest the contents of their credit report and understand what makes up their credit score. Credit Karma works with a range of partners, including mortgage lenders, credit card providers, banks, and wireless providers. For more information, visit www.creditkarma.com.

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