Credit Scores Continue to Decline

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NEW YORK (MainStreet)  — America’s credit scores are on the decline, according to CreditKarma.com. The credit management website’s latest data indicates that scores nationwide have fallen two points during the first quarter of 2011.

The average credit score in the U.S. in March was 665. As we’ve reported previously, FICO, the company responsible for our current credit model, considers people with moderate credit to be those with scores between 650 and 699. 

The drop in scores was driven by a decrease in 31 states; only six states saw credit scores rise.

Additionally, nine states had fair to poor credit scores of 650 or lower in March of this year, two more states since January. These were Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia.

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

To get the data, CreditKarma compared 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 month of March. Its latest figures include a comparison of more than 181,733 scores. The site currently has more than 2 million users.

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.

—For the best rates on loans, bank accounts and credit cards, enter your ZIP code at BankingMyWay.com.

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