By Jim Donovan: Last year as part of finance story,  I conducted an interview with a couple that had over $60,000 in credit card debt. It takes a lot to shock me, but I have to say that I left their home speechless. If you’ve ever wondered how your neighbors can always be driving around in a new car, or going on expensive vacations, it could be that they’re up to their eyeballs in debt!

While banks have cracked down on big credit lines since the Great Recession, that still doesn’t mean that people are living within their means.

Credit Karma has released its August 2011 Credit Climate report that examines data on credit card, auto, student and mortgage debt along with credit score data. Nationally, credit card debt decreased 18 percent year-over-year while 19 states paid down their debt by equal to or more than the national average.

So how do you compare with others in our area when it comes to your credit? In August, the average consumer in Philadelphia with credit accounts had:

An average credit score of 665 vs. 665 nationally

$33,536 in student loan debt vs. $29,985 nationally

$6,820 in credit card debt vs. $6,285 nationally

$183,326 in home mortgage loans vs. $174,742 nationally

$14,706 in auto loans vs. $15,275 nationally

If you find yourself drowning in debt with no way out, I always suggest that you seek assistance from a legitimate counseling agency. I refer our viewers to Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Delaware Valley. They are a non-profit organization that provides one on one counseling geared to getting out of debt. Here is a link if you’re interested:

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