CHICAGO, May 27 (UPI) -- The average U.S. credit score dropped sharply in the six-month period ending March 31, credit tracking bureau TransUnion said.
The average score fell 6 points to 651-- a calculation that includes 200 million scores, making even a small shift a significant phenomenon, USA Today reported Wednesday.
Credit scores dropped farthest in states where the housing market fell farthest, dropping 11 points in Arizona and 10 in California, TransUnion said.
"With delinquencies showing up in credit files, it's not surprising that the average score is decreasing somewhat," TransUnion financial services group director Ezra Becker said.
Credit cards problems are also cutting significantly into the national average, as there are more than twice as many families with credit cards than there are families with first mortgages, Moody's Economy.com economist Mark Zandi said.
"It means that consumers really have to keep their eyes on the ball and focus on getting out of credit card debt," Credit.com credit expert John Ulzheimer said.