U.S. consumers were a greater credit risk across all types of loans during the second quarter than they were during the same period a year ago, according to TransUnion's Credit Risk Index, a statistic developed to measure changes in average consumer credit risk within various geographies. The index was 128.32 for the quarter ended June 30, up from 127.26 for the previous quarter and up from 120.89 in the second quarter of 2008. The Chicago-based credit bureau set the index at 100 in 1998. An index of more than 100 represents a higher level of relative risk. By state, Mississippi's index continued to be the highest at 166.21, followed by Nevada at 162.74 and Texas at 162.21. The least-risky states, according to the index, were concentrated in New England and the Upper Midwest, with North Dakota at 82.24, Minnesota at 89.67 and Vermont at 92.44. "While we are expecting the [index] to continue to increase for the remainder of 2009, we also anticipate a greater number of states to show improved risk levels in the coming months," Chet Wiermanski, TransUnion global chief scientist, said of the index results.

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