SOURCE: CreditKarma.com

November 16, 2011 08:00 ET

Credit Card Debt Decreases 11 Percent From October 2010, According to CreditKarma.com

Credit Scores Fall to 661 Nationally

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - Nov 16, 2011) - CreditKarma.com, the consumer's credit advocate, today released its U.S. Credit Score Climate Report with trend data for October 2011. Since October 2010, credit card debt amongst consumers with an account decreased 11 percent to $6,600. However, since last month, credit card debt has increased one percent. In addition, thirty two states increased their credit card debt by one percent or more from September 2011. States with the largest increases include:

  • Alaska - up 10 percent to $8,356
  • Hawaii - up six percent to $7,497
  • Minnesota and Rhode Island - up five percent to $6,407 and $6,603
  • Massachusetts, Oklahoma and Utah - up four percent to $6,799, $6,438 and $5,978

In October, the average consumer with an account had:

  • $174,788 in home mortgage loans - steady month-over-month
  • $47,747 in home equity debt - up one percent month-over-month
  • $29,096 in student loans - down three percent month-over-month

Additionally, credit scores have dropped to 661 nationally, down two points from September and five points from October 2010.

"As we head into the holiday season, credit card debt is likely to rise," said Ken Lin, CEO of CreditKarma.com. "Consumers need to be aware of the correlation between debt and their credit score. Credit card utilization is a major factor in determining a person's credit score, so carrying a large balance can cause it to decrease."

Other key findings include:

  • California (680), Massachusetts (679), New Jersey (679) and Minnesota (675) had the highest credit scores while Mississippi (622), Arkansas (634), Alabama (636) and Louisiana (637) had the lowest.

  • Student debt increased the most in Utah ($22,967) at five percent followed by Maine ($25,158) and Wyoming ($27,043) at four percent. Student loan debt decreased the most in West Virginia ($25,931) at nine percent, followed by South Carolina ($27,909) at eight percent and Connecticut ($30,465) at six percent.

  • States with the highest auto loan debt include Texas ($18,317), West Virginia ($17,849) and Louisiana ($17,548) while Rhode Island ($13,230), Maine (13,134) and Wisconsin ($12,828) had the lowest amount.

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 299,697 CreditKarma.com user scores.

About CreditKarma.com
CreditKarma.com provides more than 3.5 million consumers with free credit scores 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 tools such as the Free Credit Report Card, Credit Score Simulator and Credit Card Statistics to empower consumers. To learn more, visit www.creditkarma.com.

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