Across the country, consumers are moving out of the subprime credit score category

  Across the country, consumers are moving out of the subprime credit score

Number of consumers with Equifax credit scores below 620 declines in 24 of the
top 25 metro areas

PR Newswire

ATLANTA, Jan. 31, 2013

ATLANTA, Jan. 31, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The number of consumers with subprime
credit scores is shrinking across the country, according to new data from
Equifax. The total number of consumers with Equifax credit scores below 620
fell 2.1%, or by about 1 million consumers, in the third quarter of 2012
versus the third quarter of 2011. The overall share of consumers with Equifax
credit scores under 620 fell by 0.7% (from 25.9% to 25.2%) during that same

(Logo: )

The trend is playing out to varying degrees in different metropolitan areas,
with Chicago seeing the largest decline in consumers with Equifax credit
scores below 620. In the Chicago-Gary-Kenosha metro area, 1.5 million
consumers had a credit score of 619 or below in the third quarter of 2012, a 9
percent decline from the same quarter in 2011.

On the other end of the spectrum, Houston is the only metro area among the top
25 that had an increase in consumers with Equifax credit scores below 620,
with a 0.6 percent increase in the number of consumers in the lowest category
when compared to the same period in 2011. However, when accounting for
population growth in Houston, the percentage of the Houston population with
subprime credit scores fell by 0.5 percent.

Credit scores below 620 are considered subprime for the purposes of this
report. A consumer with an Equifax score below 620 likely will have a harder
time securing credit from a bank or other lender and may have to pay a higher
interest rate if a loan is secured.

"Consumer credit scores are improving in most major metropolitan areas," said
Trey Loughran, president of the Personal Solutions division at Equifax. "The
job market is improving and time is starting to heal the wounds of the Great

The geographic differences can be attributed to a number of factors, including
employment, population shifts and demographic changes. For instance, in
Chicago, the unemployment rate declined 1.5 percentage points to 8.8 percent –
the fifth best improvement in unemployment among the largest 25 metro areas.
Also, there are significant improvements in early housing-bust markets such as
San Francisco, Sacramento, San Diego, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Phoenix and
Miami, where people's credit scores are starting to recover after

"It is nice to see that over 1 million people across the country have moved
out of the below 620 range," said Loughran. "We are seeing a trend of
consumers being careful and disciplined about their use of existing credit
while also being cautious about using new accounts they have opened."

Top 25 Metro Markets: Number of Consumers with Equifax Credit Scores Below 620
Q3, 2012 vs. Q3, 2011

                                              Total 619 & Total 619 & % Change
                                              Below       Below
   Top 25 Metropolitan Statistical Areas      Q3, 2011    Q3, 2012
1  New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island   3,306,563   3,248,660   -1.8%
2  Los Angeles-Riverside-Orange County CA     3,326,552   3,149,559   -5.3%
3  Chicago-Gary-Kenosha IL-IN-WI CMSA         1,688,835   1,536,648   -9.0%
4  Washington-Baltimore DC-MD-VA-WV CMSA      1,545,133   1,528,358   -1.1%
5  San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose CA CMSA     984,035     920,594     -6.4%
6  Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City      1,178,359   1,164,211   -1.2%
7  Dallas-Fort Worth TX CMSA                  1,418,294   1,373,994   -3.1%
8  Boston-Worcester-Lawrence MA-NH-ME-CT CMSA 848,824     837,057     -1.4%
9  Houston-Galveston-Brazoria TX CMSA         1,288,945   1,296,214   0.6%
10 Detroit-Ann Arbor-Flint MI CMSA            1,160,113   1,137,517   -1.9%
11 Atlanta GA MSA                             1,289,238   1,275,933   -1.0%
12 Miami-Fort Lauderdale FL CMSA              1,137,305   1,102,803   -3.0%
13 Phoenix-Mesa AZ MSA                        850,651     819,090     -3.7%
14 Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton WA CMSA           602,351     596,029     -1.0%
15 Minneapolis-St. Paul MN-WI MSA             438,838     428,367     -2.4%
16 San Diego CA MSA                           509,449     482,219     -5.3%
17 Denver-Boulder-Greeley CO CMSA             434,798     428,726     -1.4%
18 Cleveland-Akron OH CMSA                    520,970     518,758     -0.4%
19 Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater FL MSA     647,248     642,954     -0.7%
20 St. Louis MO-IL MSA                        493,859     486,388     -1.5%
21 Portland-Salem OR-WA CMSA                  404,681     400,684     -1.0%
22 Pittsburgh PA MSA                          375,265     369,091     -1.6%
23 Las Vegas NV-AZ MSA                        512,930     490,759     -4.3%
24 Sacramento-Yolo CA CMSA                    371,947     348,953     -6.2%
25 Orlando FL MSA                             528,232     521,646     -1.2%

About Equifax

Equifax Personal Solutions empowers consumers with the confidence and control
to be their financial best. Find out more about Equifax's innovative suite of
credit monitoring and identity theft protection products designed to enable
consumers to maximize their financial well-being at Get
smart information on everything from credit to retirement, all in one place at
the Equifax Finance Blog,

Equifax is a global leader in consumer, commercial and workforce information
solutions, providing businesses of all sizes and consumers with information
they can trust. We organize and assimilate data on more than 500 million
consumers and 81 million businesses worldwide, and use advanced analytics and
proprietary technology to create and deliver customized insights that enrich
both the performance of businesses and the lives of consumers. Headquartered
in Atlanta, Equifax operates or has investments in 18 countries and is a
member of Standard & Poor's (S&P) 500® Index. Its common stock is traded on
the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol EFX. For more information,
please visit

SOURCE Equifax

Contact: Patti Ghezzi, +1-404-290-1996, or
Michele Cacdac-Jones, +1-678-795-7885,
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.