Consumers with home mortgages may carry higher debt, but they manage it well, according to a study released on Monday.
Experian Consumer Direct, an online credit service, reports that a nationwide study has revealed that consumers with mortgages carry an average of $23,565 in credit card debt and other installment debt, in addition to their mortgages.
However, the study revealed that consumers with mortgages are less likely to make late payments. They also have higher credit scores -- averaging 713. Those without mortgages had an average score of 658.
Credit scores not only affect the borrowing power of a consumer, they are often used to set insurance premiums and for employement reasons. Having a poor credit score can result in a consumer paying much higher interest rates when borrowing money.
Samah Haggag, manager of analytics for Experian, explained that the results show that higher debt doesn't hurt a consumer's score every time.
"In this case, consumers with mortgages are doing a better job managing their credit, she said. "When you look at the late payments, the consumers without mortgagees were much more likely to have payments past due."
Consumers with second mortgages carried an average of $42,511 in additional installment debt and had credit scores averaging 739. Those with a second mortgage had the lowest late-payment rates of the study.
The study was based on a sampling of 3 million consumer credit profiles, according to Experian.