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Consumer credit card debt decreases

Consumer credit card debt decreased 10 percent during the first half of the year and 17 percent from a year ago, dropping to $6,472, according to a new report.

CreditKarma.com, an advocacy service for credit consumers, recently released its mid-year U.S. Credit Score Climate Report that showed consumers in 12 states decreased credit card debt by more than the national average.

The states include New Hampshire, which was down 17 percent; Hawaii and Wisconsin, which were down 14 percent; Alabama, New York and West Virginia, which fell 13 percent; Minnesota, Missouri and Illinois, down 12 percent; and California, Massachusetts and Texas, which fell 11 percent.

Credit scores are at 667, indicating no change since the beginning of the year, but are down two points since June 2010, according to CreditKarma.com.

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, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Utah and Washington.

Since the beginning of the year, student loans increased four percent, auto loans increased five percent, home mortgage loans decreased one percent and home equity decreased four percent, CreditKarma.com reports.

"Economists are optimistic about the second half of 2011 as gas prices continue to drop and home costs level off. The data supports this trend, reflected by stable credit scores this year and consumers reducing their credit card debt," Kin Lin, the CEO of CreditKarma.com, said.

Consumers in Colorado had the highest amount of credit card debt at $7,543, with New Jersey and Connecticut close behind.

In Iowa, mortgage debt increased by three percent while Nevada decreased its mortgage debt by five percent.  

Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma carry the most auto loan debt, while Wisconsin, Oregon and Minnesota have the least.

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