National credit risk falls during the fourth quarter

This week, major credit reporting company TransUnion released its annual Credit Risk Index, which found Americans lowered their credit risk for the fourth consecutive quarter at the end of 2010.

The CRI decreased 0.9 precent to 125.61 during this time, and fell 3.13 percent below figures observed at the end of 2009.

In addition, credit improved in 49 states and the District of Columbia. Wisconsin was the only state to see its credit index increase, though its CRI still remained well below the national average, the report said. Despite these positive reports, credit demand decreased to 67.6 by the end of December.

“While more consumers will have stronger credit profiles making them attractive to credit marketers, the underlying demand for credit appears to still be soft,” said Chet Wiermanski, global chief scientist at TransUnion.

The report also found more consumers are relying on existing credit rather than taking out new accounts and switching to debit and cash for payments. Overall, the country’s CRI hit its lowest level since the fourth quarter of 2008.