January 17, 2012 11:44 ET

Consumers Pay Down Credit Card Debt by 11 Percent in 2011, According to

Despite This Drop, Credit Scores Continue to Falter

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - Jan 17, 2012) -, the consumer's credit advocate, today released its U.S. Credit Score Climate Report with trend data for December 2011. Since December 2010, all 50 states have reduced their credit card debt with credit card debt falling 11 percent nationally to $6,576.

However, when looking at month-over-month trends, a different story emerges. Since November only nine states paid down their credit card debt, six of those by one percent or less (Arizona, Idaho, Indiana, Michigan, Oklahoma and Utah) while Arkansas, Mississippi and Nevada decreased their credit card debt two percent month-over-month to $7,937, $5,275 and $6,145 respectively. The states that saw the biggest month-over-month increases in credit card debt include:

  • Delaware and Rhode Island - up five percent to $7,423 and $6,388
  • Arizona and New Hampshire - up four percent to $6,300 and $7,748
  • North Dakota and South Dakota - up three percent to $6,159 and $7,008

Nationally, credit scores fell eight points since last year to 660. California (679), Massachusetts (679) and New Jersey (679) continue to tie for the best credit scores in the nation. They are followed closely by Washington at 675 and New York at 674. The states with the lowest credit scores include Mississippi (622), Louisiana (635), Arkansas (635), South Carolina (635) and West Virginia (637).

"The new year typically inspires consumers to get in control of their finances, especially after the bout of holiday spending that occurred in December. Starting in January, you'll see consumers start focusing on decreasing debt," said Ken Lin, CEO of

In 2011, the average consumer with an account:

  • Kept home mortgage debt steady at $173,876
  • Decreased home equity debt by four percent to $47,905
  • Increased auto loans by two percent to $15,504
  • Decreased student loan debt by nine percent to $26,272

Each month, the 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 321,209 user scores.

About provides more than 4 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

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