SOURCE: CreditKarma.com

December 15, 2010 08:00 ET

Credit Scores Down Four Points Nationwide From January 2010, According to CreditKarma.com

Consumers Reduce Average Credit Card Debt by Seven Percent Since Beginning of the Year

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - December 15, 2010) - CreditKarma.com, the consumer's credit advocate, today released its U.S. Credit Score Climate Report with trend data for November 2010. Nationally, credit scores are 665, down one point from October and four points from January 2010. Five metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) -- Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago, New York and Seattle -- had a credit score decrease greater than the national average since January 2010.

In November, the average consumer with an account had:

  • $7,336 in credit card debt
  • $173,566 in home mortgage loans
  • $49,908 in home equity
  • $15,147 in auto loans
  • $28,617 in student loans

Credit card debt amongst consumers with a credit card decreased seven percent since January 2010. Only consumers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Nebraska increased their credit card debt. Additionally, consumers in 14 states paid down their credit card balances by more than the national average since January 2010. These include:

  • Arkansas, Connecticut, Michigan and Kansas -- decreased credit card debt by eight percent
  • California, Oklahoma, New Hampshire and Indiana -- decreased credit card debt by nine percent
  • Oregon, Tennessee and Utah -- decreased credit card debt by 11 percent
  • Colorado and Nevada -- decreased credit card debt by 13 percent
  • Wisconsin -- decreased credit card debt by 31 percent

"While consumers remain focused on paying down their credit cards, credit scores have decreased since the beginning of the year," said Ken Lin, CEO of CreditKarma.com. "We suspect consumers' credit scores may be affected larger economic factors such as a weak housing market, continued unemployment and lack of available credit."

Here are some other key findings:

  • Seven states have fair to poor credit scores of 650 or lower. These states include Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Tennessee.

  • Massachusetts has the highest credit scores nationally. The average credit score in Massachusetts is 684.

  • Alabama and Arkansas have the lowest credit scores nationally. The average credit score in both states is 641.

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 148,082 CreditKarma.com user scores.

About CreditKarma.com
CreditKarma.com is a completely free credit management service that enables consumers to put their credit to work for their overall financial health by providing them with customized savings recommendations. CreditKarma.com's goal is to help its more than 2 million users realize the everyday cost savings of having a good credit score by providing free credit scores, as well as a range of tools to help consumers improve their financial situation. For more information, visit www.creditkarma.com.

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