A new analysis of credit scores throughout the recession shows that most people's credit standing remained remarkably constant despite years of economic tumult.

The number of people who had great credit before going into the recession and then fouled it up because of a job loss, a foreclosure, credit card default or what have you is just 2% of a random credit sample of 10 million consumers. This group is referred to as "fallen angels" for obvious reasons!

In much the same way, the number of people who had bad credit scores before the recession began in 2007 and now have good credit is also nearly 2%. These kinds of people are called "rising stars."

In other words, things have stayed more alike through the years of financial tumult than not.

This goes to the heart of the fact that we are such a diverse nation economically. Even at the darkest moment of the recession, true unemployment as measured by economists in U6 was 16%. While that's outrageously high, it still meant that 84% of people were working at any given moment.

(U6 is a more realistic measurement of unemployment than the government's headline inflation number. It takes into account those who are involuntarily working part-time because they can't find full-time work and those who have given up looking for work out of sheer frustration.)

So most people came through the bleak times OK and the numbers show it. As people get back on their feet, the most important thing is that Americans have steadily reduced the amount of debt they carry and have cleaned up their balance sheets. And that reduces anxiety and gives you more freedom going forward!

Image of Clark Howard About the author: Clark Howard

Clark Howard is a consumer expert whose goal is to help you keep more of the money you make. His national radio show and website show you ways to save more, spend less and avoid getting ripped off. View More Articles

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