The California Credit Dashboard

California is the fifth largest economy in the world and has more people than the least populous 22 US states combined. What happens in California affects the world.

Yet to date there has been little information available about household financial balance sheets at the state level. The California Credit Dashboard seeks to fill that gap.

The Dashboard provides measures of financial health for California’s diverse population. What type of debts do they have? How many are delinquent? What is the current pace of originations? How are credit scores faring? Our data come from one of the three nationwide credit bureaus.

We break out data by subgroups so that users can compare different profiles. We currently provide breakdowns by loan types, regions, and age groups. In the future, we hope to provide more breakdowns.

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Technical Appendix 

Figure 1. Average credit balances

Average credit balances are shown for selected consumers who have the specified types of debt.

Notes: The denominator (hover over a point for the n value) includes only consumers who have loans of the selected type(s). Credit card balances include both transactors, who pay off their balance each month, and revolvers, who carry a balance and pay interest.
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Figure 2. Total outstanding credit

This figure shows the aggregate amount of outstanding credit for the selected consumers.

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Figure 3. Average origination amounts 

This figure shows the average dollar amount of originations of the selected loan types for selected consumers. If outstandings (Fig. 2) are a “lake” of existing debt, originations are the “stream” of new debt entering every quarter. Originations, like streams, can be highly seasonal.

Notes: The denominator (hover over a point for the n value) includes only consumers who originated loans of the selected type(s). Originations are often reported to the credit bureaus several months after their date of origination. We count all originations that are reported within 12 months of their origination date. For that reason, data from the last 4 quarters are projected and not final. The origination amounts for revolving credit, such as credit cards and home equity lines of credit, are the credit limit. “Originations” for collections means their first appearance on a credit report, with the balance due as the origination amount. We do not count originations with a missing open date, or accounts that appear to be duplicate originations (same consumer identifier, open date, loan type, origination balance, and ECOA code).
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Figure 4. 30-day delinquency rates

The 30-day delinquency rate is a good indicator of financial distress. This chart shows delinquency rates for the selected consumers.

Notes: The numerator is the number of consumers with one or more of the selected loans that are open but delinquent by 30 days or more. The denominator is the number of consumers with one or more of the selected loan types that are in an open status. Foreclosures, repossessions, charge-offs, and other closed loans are not included in either numerator or denominator.
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Figure 5. Average credit scores, 2011 to present

Credit scores are designed to predict potential credit default, but are often used as an indicator of overall financial health.

Notes: There are many different types of credit scores. We use a generic VantageScore® (version 4.0) provided by the credit bureau. The range is 300-850 (the same as FICO®), with five scoring buckets roughly defined as follows: deep subprime (300-580), subprime (580-619), near-prime (620-659), prime (660-719), and super-prime (720-850). We present data March 2011 onward, because we could not confirm the reliability of data before that date.
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