SOURCE: CreditKarma.com

April 13, 2011 08:00 ET

Credit Scores Down in Q1 2011

Consumer Credit Card Debt Decreases Six Percent, Yet Nine States Continue to Have Fair to Poor Credit Scores, According to CreditKarma.com

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - Apr 13, 2011) - CreditKarma.com, the consumer's credit advocate, today released its U.S. Credit Score Climate Report with trend data for the first quarter of 2011. Nationally, credit scores have fallen two points in Q1 2011 to 665. Additionally, nine states have fair to poor credit scores of 650 or lower, an increase of two states since January 2011. These states include Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia.

In Q1 2011, the average consumer with an account:

  • Decreased credit card debt six percent to $6,767
  • Decreased home mortgage loans two percent to $171,052
  • Decreased home equity two percent to $48,330
  • Stabilized auto loans at $15,107
  • Increased student loan debt two percent to $29,240

Consumers in seven metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) decreased their credit card debt by greater than the national average of six percent in Q1, including:

  • Chicago, Denver, Houston and Miami - decreased credit card debt seven percent
  • Boston, New York and San Francisco - decreased credit card debt eight percent

"Despite consumers' best efforts to reduce debt, credit scores continue to decline," said Ken Lin, CEO of CreditKarma.com. "These lowered scores could be the result of larger economic pressures such as the housing market slump and sustained high unemployment."

Other key findings include:

  • California has the highest credit score in the country with an average score of 684. Mississippi remains the state with the lowest credit score at 632.

  • In Q1 2011, 31 states' credit scores are down, while only six states raised credit scores.

  • Consumers in 15 states lowered their credit card debt more than the national average of six percent in Q1 2011. These states include Arizona, Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and Wisconsin.

  • Utah lowered its credit card debt the least at one percent. No states increased their credit card debt in Q1 2011.

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 181,733 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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