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California credit scores decline in March but still among highest in nation

Apr 19, 2012 Walt Wojciechowski

Consumers in California were less attractive loan applicants in March, although the state appears to be healthier than most other regions of the country. According to a recent report by, the average Californian's credit score fell to 677 last month - down from 684 a year ago. Meanwhile, the national average declined 665 to 660 over the same period, positioning the Golden State at the No. 3 in a ranking of the highest state credit averages, behind New Jersey (681) and Massachusetts (679). "Consumers continue to pay down their credit card debt," said Ken Lin, chief executive officer of, according to the Sacramento Business Journal. "But as the economy improves it will be interesting to see if consumers can keep that commitment or if they revert back to their old habits." California consumers owed $5,900 on their credit cards in March, $309,579 on their mortgages, $15,390 on their car loans and $29,605 in student loans. While recent economic trends have shown considerable improvements in overall market conditions, the U.S. is facing a mounting consumer credit crisis, driven in large part by skyrocketing student debt loads.