It finally seems that the sky has stopped falling for many people as far as their personal debt load is concerned. Since the beginning of 2011, consumer credit card debt has dropped by 10%, according to Federal Reserve and the revolving credit has grownby 3% in December to almost $2.41 trillion. The current numbers reflect a 17% drop from data gathered last year. The average debt figure now stands at $6,472.
Jim Chessen, ABA’s Chief Economist, stated: “While one month does not make a trend, this increase in revolving credit is a positive sign. It reflects greater optimism on the part of consumers and banks that the economy is mending.”
Credit scores remained stable for the first half of the year, with the average score of 667 falling only two points since a year ago.
In twelve states, consumers managed to unburden themselves of even more credit card debt than the national average: Texas, California and Massachusetts experienced an 11% decrease; Missouri, Minnesota and Illinois dropped 12%; New York, West Virginia and Alabama fell 13%; Wisconsin and Hawaii, down 14% and New Hampshire was the winner with a 17% decrease in credit card debt.
Colorado shoppers are carrying the most credit card debt at $7,543, according to the report. New Jersey residents come in a close second with $7531 and Connecticut consumers carry the third-highest amount of credit card debt at $7479.
This valiant effort by consumers nation-wide to pay down their credit card balances is being recognized and rewarded by card issuers who are showing their approval by gradually relaxing their underwriting standards, increasing the limits on individual lines of credit and offering a whole slew of opportunities for people looking to apply for a new credit card account.
Other data from the report shows Iowa demonstrating the highest mortgage debt increase of 3% since January of this year. Meanwhile, Nevada residents decreased their mortgage debt by 5%. As far as auto loan debt goes, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Texas are carrying the most while Minnesota, Oregon and Wisconsin can boast the least.