Despite taking on slightly more credit card, mortgage and nonmortgage debt year-over-year, delinquency rates are decreasing on average, according to Experian’s annual State of Credit report.

The report says the average credit score hit an eight-year high at 682, two points more than last year. 

Shannon Lois, Experian's head of analytics for consulting and operations, said the increase is a promising trend in terms of how Americans are managing their credit as we head into a new decade.

“Average credit card balances and debt are up year over year, yet utilization rates remain consistent at 30%, indicating consumers are using credit as a financial tool and managing their debts responsibly," she said.

The report, which provides a year-over-year view of average credit scores, debt, delinquencies and card balances, showed average credit card debt rose to $6,629 from $6,506 last year; average retail credit card balances went to $1,942 from $1,901; and average mortgage debt jumped to $231,599 from $208,180.

Women, the report showed, have a four-point lead over men with an average credit score of 686 compared to 682. And while men and women both maintain a utilization rate of 30%, there were differences in how they manage credit.

Men carry more non-mortgage and mortgage debt than women at $27,314 and $220,421 respectively, compared to $24,176 and $203,630. 

In addition, women have more credit cards (3.17 compared to 3.01) and retail cards (2.83 compared to 2.13) but carry lower balances. The average credit card balance for women was $6,569 verus $6,872 for men, and their average retail card balance of $1,858 compared to $2,087 for men.

Also, men have a slightly higher 90-plus days past due delinquency rate (34% versus 33%).

The report also pointed out a generational divide. When it comes to carrying debt, Gen Xers, millennials and Gen Zers tend to carry more debt (including mortgage, nonmortgage, credit card and retail card) than older generations, and they have higher delinquency and utilization rates.

Additionally, the study ranked states by average credit score in 2019. The top five sates with prime credit scores of 705 or more are Minnesota, Vermont, South Dakota, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

At the bottom are Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Texas and Oklahoma with credit scores below 660.