Editor’s note: This is a transcript of the audio file.
Looks like Americans are really working on their New Year’s resolutions to pay down holiday credit card debt. I’m Kristin Arnold with your Bankrate.com Personal Finance Minute.
A recent report from CreditKarma.com showed that the average U.S. consumer trimmed their credit card debt by 8 percent in January 2012 from December 2011. Average credit card balances fell in every state except Wisconsin -– where it rose 4 percent.
Arkansas, Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota and West Virginia made the largest inroads by slashing credit card debt by 15 percent or more.
CreditKarma.com’s report underscores findings from a consumer stress index released February 15th by nonprofit credit counseling service CredAbility.
The index improved in the final quarter of last year with the credit portion of the index, which includes late credit card payments, delinquent loan payments and bankruptcy filings, proving to be the healthiest aspect of Americans’ financial profile.
Only seven states were considered at-risk for credit deterioration, while the rest of the nation was either in good/stable or excellent/secure condition. Sadly, other factors such as housing, net worth, employment and household budget continue to weigh on the average consumer.
For more on debt and other financial topics, visit Bankrate.com. I’m Kristin Arnold.