SOURCE: CreditKarma.com

August 17, 2011 08:00 ET

Student Loan Debt Rises Six Percent From July 2010

Credit Card Debt Falls Two Percent From June and Is Down 18 Percent Year-Over-Year, According to CreditKarma.com

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - Aug 17, 2011) - CreditKarma.com, the consumer's credit advocate, today released its U.S. Credit Score Climate Report with trend data for July 2011. As students head back to school, they face steeper debt from a year ago. Nationally student loan debt increased six percent year-over-year and four percent since January.

States who saw their student loan debt increase the most since July 2010 include:

  • Wisconsin -- up 18 percent
  • Arkansas, Colorado and Utah -- up nine percent
  • Connecticut, Iowa, Maryland, New York and Virginia -- up eight percent
  • Arizona, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Tennessee and Washington -- up seven percent

"As the back-to-school season approaches, we continue to see student loan debt increase as more students apply for student loans to pay for their college tuition," said Kin Lin, CEO of CreditKarma.com. "Tuition hikes are also contributing to this debt. According to the College Board, the average increase for public schools is roughly eight percent every year and five percent for private universities."

Nationally, the average consumer with an account had:

  • $6,355 in credit card debt -- down 18 percent year-over-year
  • $15,241 in auto loans -- up one percent year-over-year
  • $173,232 in home mortgage loans -- down two percent year-over-year
  • $47,578 in home equity debt -- down eight percent year-over-year

Other key findings include:

  • Credit scores fell two points nationally from July 2010 to 666. Consumers in Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina and West Virginia have credit scores of 650 or lower, which is considered poor.

  • The states with the highest credit scores include California (684), Massachusetts (682), New Jersey (682), Washington (680) and Utah (679).

  • Consumers in Colorado ($7,420), New Hampshire ($7,401), New Jersey ($7,384) and Connecticut ($7,309) have the highest amount of credit card debt while consumers in Louisiana ($5,959), Alabama ($5,831), Mississippi ($5,678) and Wisconsin ($4,693) have the least.

  • Since July 2010, auto loan debt increased the most in West Virginia by 14 percent to $17,849 while Oregon decreased its auto debt the most by five percent to $13,024.

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 219,664 CreditKarma.com user scores.

About CreditKarma.com
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 www.creditkarma.com.

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