A high level of consumer debt isn’t always a negative factor for consumers, according to the results of a nationwide study conducted by Experian Consumer Direct.

The study found that the national average credit score for consumers with debt above the national average is higher than the average credit score for those with debt below the national average. The national average Experian PLUS Score for consumers is 677.

Overall, the study found:

A high level of consumer debt isn’t always a negative factor for consumers, according to the results of a nationwide study conducted by Experian Consumer Direct.

The study found that the national average credit score for consumers with debt above the national average is higher than the average credit score for those with debt below the national average. The national average Experian PLUS Score for consumers is 677.

Overall, the study found:

  • U.S. consumers’ average debt is 12 percent higher compared to the same time last year.

  • U.S. consumers have an average debt of $11,224 compared to last year’s average debt of $10,024.

  • 25 percent of U.S. consumers have debt that is above the national average and their average Experian PLUS Score is 695.

  • The average PLUS Score for consumers with debt below the national average is 671.

Consumers can manage their credit score by reviewing their credit report on a regular basis, which also enables them to catch early signs of potential identity theft and account hijacking, both fast growing crimes in the U.S.

The Experian study was compiled using the Experian National Score Index, which is based upon a nationwide sampling of 3 million consumer credit profiles. The index is updated monthly with the most recent Experian data regarding U.S. consumers’ credit and is a powerful indicator of the nation’s overall financial health.

The index monitors several components of consumer credit behavior including average debt, credit utilization, and monthly payments, and is formulated using Experian’s credit score model, called the PLUS Score. The PLUS Score is a numeric representation of financial behavior, based on information found in a credit report, and can range from 330 to 830 with a higher score indicating a lower credit risk.

Experian Consumer Direct is a business unit of Experian, a global information solutions company. The online direct-to-consumer channel provides credit reports and products to consumers.

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