Consumer Credit Card Debt Highest Since May 2009

by News Guy on March 10, 2010

Despite the Increase in Debt, Credit Scores are Up or Stable in Most Regions, According to Credit Karma

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – March 10, 2010 – Credit Karma (www.creditkarma.com), the consumer’s credit advocate, today released its U.S. Credit Score Climate Report with trend data for February 2010. Amongst consumers with a credit card, credit card debt increased 6% nationally from January and is the highest it has been in 10 months. The Midwest and Northeast regions showed the highest increases in credit card debt with a 7% increase and Kansas City consumers represented the highest gain for a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), increasing debt by 10% in February.  In addition, consumers in six states increased their credit card debt by more than 10%.  These include:

  • Idaho – credit card debt increased 14% to $8,958
  • Mississippi – credit card debt increased 14% to $7,294
  • Nebraska – credit card debt increased 12% to $8,565
  • New Mexico – credit card debt increased 12% to $8,241
  • Kentucky – credit card debt increased 10% to $8,384
  • Missouri – credit card debt increased 10% to $7,926

In February, the average consumer with an open account had:

  • $8,380 in credit card debt
  • $179,435 in home mortgage loans
  • $52,431 in home equity
  • $14,949 in auto loans
  • $26,961 in student loans

On a positive note, consumer credit scores are remaining stable or increasing in most regions for the first time in a year.  Credit scores in the Midwest and Northeast were up one point in February, while the South remained the same and credit scores in the West dropped one point.  The current average credit score is 669.

Here are some other key findings:

  • Consumers in Louisiana and Kentucky had the biggest increases to their credit scores.  Consumers in both states increased their credit scores by five points in February to 644 and 649 respectively. Despite the increase, both states are still 20 points or more below the national average.
  • Consumers in the Chicago MSA had increased their credit scores by three points, the most of any MSA tracked by Credit Karma, to 683.
  • Colorado consumers have the highest amount of credit card debt.  On average, consumers with a credit card in Colorado carry a balance of $9,712. The Denver MSA also ranks highest amongst MSAs with consumers having $9,896 in credit card debt.

Methodology

Each month, the Credit Karma 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 99,500 Credit Karma user scores.

About Credit Karma

Credit Karma enables consumers to put their credit to work for their overall financial health. Credit Karma’s goal is to help its more than 1 million users realize the everyday cost savings of having a good credit score by providing a range of tools and resources to help consumers improve their financial situation. For more information, visit www.creditkarma.com.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Meghan Fife March 19, 2010 at 5:49 pm

Guess what!? I am below average in every single area of “debt”…that’s a good thing, right?? ;-)

News Guy March 22, 2010 at 8:52 pm

But of course, my friend! And one day you’ll have $0.00 debt at the rate you’re going :)

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