Credit scores improved as credit card debt increased for many consumers in October, according to a report by Credit Karma Inc., a San Francisco company whose Web site tracks credit scores.
Although major card issuers reported significantly lower credit spending volume for the third quarter, Credit Karma said Wednesday that the average consumer had $7,573 in credit card debt last month, up 14% from $6,641 in September.
The "data show that consumers are feeling more confident about spending money again ahead of the holidays," Ken Lin, Credit Karma's chief executive, said of the report's findings. "However, credit scores remain high in regions with lower increases in credit card spending, proving there's a direct correlation between debt and credit scores."
Nationally, 40% of consumer credit scores increased last month, compared with 39% in September and 37% in August, according to data from approximately 79,000 Credit Karma user scores.
Despite the high percentage of increasing credit scores, the average credit score of 671 is still down one point from September and down five points since the beginning of the year.