Credit scores improved as credit card debt increased for many people in November, according to a report by Credit Karma Inc.

The average consumer had $7,879 in credit card debt last month, up 4% from October, according to data compiled by the San Francisco company, whose Web site tracks credit scores.

"For the second straight month, consumers have increased their credit card spending after spending much of the year paying down debt," said Ken Lin, Credit Karma's chief executive said in an interview Wednesday.

"We anticipate this trend will continue through December due to holiday shopping and, hopefully, will notice consumers paying down credit card debt again in 2010."

Nationally, 40% of consumer credit scores rose last month, a rate unchanged from the previous two months, according to data from about 79,000 Credit Karma user scores.

Lin said that credit scores increased despite the rise in card debt because total consumer debt, including mortgages and auto and student loans, declined in November.

Despite the high percentage of rising scores, the average credit score of 671 was down a point from two months earlier and by five points from Jan. 1.

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