SOURCE: Credit Karma

Credit Karma

February 25, 2009 05:00 ET

Credit Karma Launches U.S. Consumer Credit Score Climate Report

37% of Consumer Credit Scores Are up, 31% Down and 32% Remain Stable, According to Website's Unique Trend Data

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - February 25, 2009) - Credit Karma (www.creditkarma.com), a pro-consumer credit score tracking and management service that has delivered more than 850,000 free credit scores and counts more than 250,000 registered users, today launched its U.S. Credit Score Climate Report with trend data for January 2009.

The Credit Karma U.S. Consumer Credit Score Climate Report will provide a monthly barometer on consumer credit trends, a particularly important economic indicator in today's market. Each month, the Report will offer unique and insightful statistics on the health of consumer credit scores nationwide. Trend data in the report is based on a comparison of Credit Karma users' January credit score with their previous credit score at least 30 days prior and no more than 90 days out.

During the October 2008 to January 2009 time period, 37% of consumer credit scores have gone up, 31% have gone down, and 32% remained the same. Of the scores that increased, the average credit score rose 13 points during the time period. Of the scores that decreased, the average credit score dropped 15 points. Here are some additional points revealed in the Report:

--  Average credit score with no change is 693 whereas 673 and 662 are the
    respective credit score averages for those with an increase and decrease.
    This would suggest that people with higher credit scores maintain more
    stable credit scores while those with marginal credit scores tend to be in
    flux.
    
--  Age is one key factor (see graphic). Younger consumers, age 18-24, saw
    the biggest increase in their credit scores. This is caused by a few
    factors. First, younger people have a shorter credit history and therefore
    lower scores (Average score: 670). As a result, we see a higher percent of
    younger consumer's credit scores on the increase. Secondly, older
    consumers, age 65+, tend to have a longer and more stable credit history
    (Average score: 736)
    
--  Location is another key factor (see graphic). As states experience
    economic changes such as massive layoffs, foreclosure, bankruptcy or
    impacts of the economic stimulus plan, credit scores may be impacted.
    Currently, we don't see major differences between the states highlighted in
    this report.
    

"It's interesting to note that while more than 74% of consumers believe that their credit score is on the way up, the reality is more measured," comments Kenneth Lin, chief executive officer of Credit Karma. "Our goal with this Report is to give the market a look at trends in consumer credit, highlight unique differences across age bands and geographies, and evangelize the importance of good credit health."

Methodology

Each month, the Credit Karma U.S. Consumer Credit Score Climate Report compares the current credit scores of its 250,000 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 20,000 Credit Karma user scores.

About Credit Karma

Credit Karma is a San Francisco-based, pro-consumer site that provides consumers free access to their credit scores plus a range of tools and information resources to help them monitor and manage the credit aspect of their financial health. The service has delivered more than 850,000 free credit scores and counts more than 250,000 registered members. 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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