Approximately 14 percent of the U.S. population has more than 10 credit cards, according to the latest National Score Index® study by Experian Consumer Direct, the leading provider of online direct-to-consumer credit reports, scores and monitoring products. The study examines consumer credit card use on both a statewide and a national level. For additional survey results, visit Experian’s National Score Index Web site at www.NationalScoreIndex.com.

The states with the highest percentage of consumers with at least 10 credit cards are New Hampshire and New Jersey, where the average is approximately 20 percent. More critical to financial management is how much consumers use the cards they carry. Nationally, one in seven consumers (14.3 percent) use 50 percent or more of their available credit. Alaska and Hawaii top this category, with about 17 percent of their residents using more than 50 percent of their available credit. Overall the study found the following:

  • U.S. consumers have an average of four credit cards
  • Approximately 51 percent of the U.S. population has at least two credit cards
       
    Approximately 14 percent of the U.S. population has more than 10 credit cards
  • About 14 percent of the U.S. population uses at least 50 percent of their available credit
  • U.S. consumers who use at least 50 percent of their available credit carry an average of 6.6 credit cards
  • The national average credit score for those with credit card utilization of at least 50 percent is 645, compared with the overall national average of 674

"Using credit cards to purchase items now and pay them off over time is a convenient way for consumers to get the items they want or need that they may have never been able to afford if they had to pay in full at the time of purchase," said Ty Taylor, president of Experian Consumer Direct. "Although credit is convenient, consumers should keep in mind that good credit management means being able to pay on time each month and paying off debt in a reasonable amount of time. Maxing out credit cards may also have a negative effect on their credit score."

Experian Consumer Direct empowers consumers by offering products and information through Web sites such as www.FreeCreditReport.com to help them proactively manage their personal finances conveniently and securely online. Products include credit reports from all three national credit reporting companies, credit score reports that show the positive and negative factors that affect a consumer’s credit score, and credit monitoring products that provide daily monitoring of their Experian credit report or all three national credit reports.

More information about Experian’s National Score Index study plus additional credit data at the state and local levels can be found at www.NationalScoreIndex.com. This study used Experian data as of November 2006.


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