September 14, 2011 08:00 ET

Credit Card Debt Falls 18 Percent Since August 2010, According to

Consumers in 19 States Pay Off Credit Card Debt by More Than the National Average

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - Sep 14, 2011) -, the consumer's credit advocate, today released its U.S. Credit Score Climate Report with trend data for August 2011. Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a slightly lower year-over-year 9.1 percent unemployment rate for August 2011, consumer debt continues to decrease. Nationally, credit card debt decreased 18 percent year-over-year to $6,285. In addition, 19 states paid down their debt by equal to or more than the national average including:

  • Wisconsin - down by 37 percent
  • Hawaii - down by 22 percent
  • Missouri, Nevada - down by 21 percent
  • Maine - down by 20 percent
  • California, Colorado, Illinois, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas - down by 19 percent
  • Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Idaho, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Rhode Island - down by 18 percent

"The relative uncertainty of the current job market has forced consumers to live within their means and focus on being financially responsible," said Ken Lin, CEO of "This trend is reflected in the report by consumers' continuing efforts to pay down their credit card debt."

Nationally, the average consumer with an account had:

  • $174,742 in home mortgage loans - stable year-over-year
  • $47,956 in home equity debt - down seven percent year-over-year
  • $15,275 in auto loans - up one percent year-over-year
  • $29,985 in student loans - up six percent year-over-year

Other key findings include:

  • Credit scores fell three points nationally from August 2010 to 665. The states with the highest credit scores include California (683), New Jersey (682), Massachusetts (681), and Hawaii (681).

  • Oklahoma (648), Kentucky (643), Louisiana (643), South Carolina (641), West Virginia (641), Alabama (639), Arkansas (638) and Mississippi (626) have credit scores of 650 or lower, which is considered poor.

  • Consumers in Alaska ($7,585), New Jersey ($7,326) and Colorado ($7,217) have the highest credit card debt while consumers in Mississippi ($5,799), Alabama ($5,625) and Wisconsin ($4,720) have the least.

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 262,887 user scores.

Credit Karma is a completely free credit management service that provides free credit scores, personalized savings recommendations, and financial education. We believe free access to one's credit score is a fundamental consumer right. Credit Karma helps more than 3 million consumers realize the everyday cost savings of having a good credit score. Visit us at

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