Advertiser Disclosure

Credit Scores Across America

Credit Card Data, Credit Cards
With so many websites offering free financial tools, it can be hard to know whom to trust. At NerdWallet, we spend literally 1,000s of hours researching partner offers and following strict editorial integrity to match you with the perfect choice. We even share how we make money so you can enjoy our expert advice and researched recommendations with total clarity and confidence.
Credit Scores Across America

When it comes to credit scores, consumers in Mississippi and Minnesota are at opposite ends of the spectrum.

Residents of Mississippi have the lowest average credit score in the country at 638, while folks in Minnesota have the highest at 704, according to credit reporting bureau Experian, which provided NerdWallet with credit scores for over 200 metro areas. The national average credit score in May 2015 was 669.

Having a healthy credit score can help consumers save money on loans and expand their financial choices. A low credit score, typically below 629, makes it difficult to borrow money at a low interest rate, get a good deal on auto insurance and rent an apartment. Consumers with low scores also can be susceptible to predatory lending practices.

Education and training

To help consumers dodge these debt traps, states such as Mississippi have made financial education a priority. The Treasurer’s Education About Money, or TEAM, initiative was started last year to improve financial literacy in the state’s schools. The program has already reached over 19,000 students, according to Mississippi Treasurer Lynn Fitch.

“We recognize that we need to change the financial culture in our state,” Fitch says.

Mississippi is emphasizing workforce training through partnerships with companies and community colleges because of the connection between poverty and financial choice, Fitch says.

But financial literacy is only part of the picture. Mississippi’s median household income is $37,963, which is 63% of Minnesotans’ median of $60,702, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.

“You’ll hear people say it doesn’t matter what you make, you just have to manage what you’ve got,” says Selena Swartzfager, president of the Mississippi Council on Economic Education. “I’m afraid that until we’re able to do something about the level of poverty that we have in Mississippi, we can train people all day long on what to do with their money, but if they don’t have any, then that’s an issue.”

» MORE: Consumer credit card report 2015

 

Want to improve your credit score? Take a look at NerdWallet’s advice to help get your score in shape and find the right credit cards.

Trends across America

Deep South struggles. In addition to Mississippi, residents in Louisiana and Georgia have some of the lowest credit scores in the U.S. The three states lay claim to 50% of our bottom 20 metro areas by credit score. Overall, these states and Nevada have the worst credit scores.

Midwest is creditworthy. States in this region top our list with average credit scores in the high 690s and 700s. The Mankato, Minnesota, area tops our list with an average credit score of 716.

California — a state of a high and lots of lows. Among the top 50 metro areas, the Golden State makes an appearance only once: the San Francisco Bay Area, where residents have an average credit score of 693. Among the bottom 50 places, three are in California, with the Riverside-San Bernardino area holding the third from last ranking with a score of 620. The state’s average was 670, one point above the national average.

 



Credit scores by metro area

Scroll through the table below to see data on 211 U.S. metro areas.

Rank Metro area Average metro area credit score Average state credit score
1 Mankato, Minnesota 716 704
2 Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota 704 704
3 Wausau-Rhinelander, Wisconsin 703 692
4 Fargo-Valley City, North Dakota 702 696
5 Rochester-Mason City-Austin, Minnesota 701 704
6 Sioux Falls (Mitchell), South Dakota 701 696
7 Cedar Rapids, Iowa 700 693
8 Duluth-Superior, Minnesota 700 704
9 Green Bay-Appleton, Wisconsin 700 692
10 Helena, Montana 699 686
11 Madison, Wisconsin 698 692
12 Presque Isle, Maine 697 686
13 La Crosse-Eau Claire, Wisconsin 696 692
14 Charlottesville, Virginia 695 675
15 Sioux City, Iowa 695 693
16 Boston (Manchester), Massachusetts 694 692
17 San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, California 693 670
18 Johnstown-Altoona, Pennsylvania 693 684
19 Burlington-Plattsburgh, Vermont 692 693
20 Marquette, Michigan 692 672
21 North Platte, Nebraska 691 691
22 Lincoln, Nebraska 691 691
23 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 691 684
24 Missoula, Montana 691 686
25 Honolulu, Hawaii 690 690
26 Peoria-Bloomington, Illinois 689 677
27 Omaha, Nebraska 689 691
28 Minot-Bismarck-Dickinson, North Dakota 689 696
29 Des Moines-Ames, Iowa 689 693
30 Davenport-Moline, Illinois 689 677
31 Quincy-Hannibal-Keokuk, Illinois 689 677
32 Portland-Auburn, Maine 688 686
33 Great Falls, Montana 687 686
34 Rochester, New York 687 681
35 Rapid City, South Dakota 687 696
36 Albany-Schenectady-Troy, New York 686 681
37 Harrisburg-York, Pennsylvania 686 684
38 Bend, Oregon 686 678
39 Lima, Ohio 685 672
40 Hartford-New Haven, Connecticut 685 687
41 Ottumwa-Kirksville, Iowa 685 693
42 Providence-New Bedford, Rhode Island 684 685
43 Syracuse, New York 684 681
44 Harrisonburg, Virginia 684 675
45 Traverse City-Cadillac, Michigan 684 672
46 Butte-Bozeman, Montana 683 686
47 Seattle-Tacoma, Washington 683 681
48 Cheyenne-Scottsbluf, Wyoming 683 670
49 Binghamton, New York 683 681
50 Buffalo, New York 683 681
51 Bangor, Maine 683 686
52 Denver, Colorado 682 681
53 Milwaukee, Wisconsin 682 692
54 Spokane, Washington 682 681
55 New York, New York 682 681
56 Juneau, Alaska 682 671
57 Utica, New York 681 681
58 Wilkes Barre-Scranton, Pennsylvania 681 684
59 Billings, Montana 681 686
60 Santa Barbara, California 680 670
61 Idaho Falls-Pocatello, Idaho 680 676
62 Washington, D.C. 680 675
63 Columbia-Jefferson City, Missouri 680 670
64 Fairbanks, Alaska 680 671
65 Fort Myers-Naples, Florida 679 660
66 Springfield-Holyoke, Massachusetts 679 692
67 Portland, Oregon 678 678
68 Rockford, Illinois 678 677
69 Erie, Pennsylvania 678 684
70 Watertown, New York 678 681
71 Salt Lake City, Utah 677 677
72 Eureka, California 676 670
73 Eugene, Oregon 676 678
74 Cleveland-Akron (Canton), Ohio 676 672
75 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 675 684
76 Topeka, Kansas 675 675
77 Cincinnati, Ohio 675 672
78 Alpena, Michigan 675 672
79 Champaign, Illinois 675 677
80 St. Louis, Missouri 675 670
81 Toledo, Ohio 674 672
82 Chicago, Illinois 674 677
83 Kansas City, Missouri 673 670
84 South Bend-Elkhart, Indiana 673 660
85 Lansing, Michigan 672 672
86 Wheeling-Steubenville, Ohio 671 672
87 Medford-Klamath Falls, Oregon 671 678
88 Yakima-Pasco, Washington 671 681
89 Terre Haute, Indiana 671 660
90 Detroit, Michigan 671 672
91 Anchorage, Alaska 671 671
92 San Diego, California 671 670
93 Grand Junction-Montrose, Colorado 671 681
94 Grand Rapids-Kalmzoo, Michigan 671 672
95 Chico-Redding, California 671 670
96 Dayton, Ohio 671 672
97 Youngstown, Ohio 671 672
98 Springfield, Mo, Missouri 670 670
99 Fort Wayne, Indiana 670 660
100 Tucson (Sierra Vista), Arizona 670 662
101 Roanoke-Lynchburg, Virginia 670 675
102 Monterey-Salinas, California 670 670
103 West Palm Beach, Florida 670 660
104 Evansville, Indiana 670 660
105 Elmira, New York 669 681
106 Boise, Idaho 669 676
107 Flint-Saginaw-Bay City, Michigan 669 672
108 Colorado Springs-Pueblo, Colorado 668 681
109 Wichita-Hutchinson Plus, Kansas 668 675
110 Victoria, Texas 668 652
111 St. Joseph, Missouri 668 670
112 Glendive, Montana 667 686
113 Columbus, Oh, Ohio 667 672
114 Parkersburg, West Virginia 667 658
115 Sacramento, California 667 670
116 Baltimore, Maryland 666 668
117 Salisbury, Maryland 666 668
118 Austin, Texas 666 652
119 Richmond-Petersburg, Virginia 665 675
120 Gainesville, Florida 665 660
121 Zanesville, Ohio 665 672
122 Tampa-St. Pete (Sarasota), Florida 664 660
123 Lafayette, Indiana 664 660
124 Los Angeles, California 663 670
125 Palm Springs, California 663 670
126 Huntsville-Decatur, Alabama 663 651
127 San Angelo, Texas 663 652
128 Knoxville, Tennessee 662 656
129 Bowling Green, Kentucky 662 658
130 Orlando-Daytona Beach, Florida 661 660
131 Louisville, Kentucky 661 658
132 Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina 661 659
133 Greensboro, North Carolina 660 659
134 Nashville, Tennessee 660 656
135 Phoenix, Arizona 659 662
136 Tri-Cities, Tennessee 659 656
137 Wilmington, North Carolina 659 659
138 Greenville, South Carolina 658 650
139 Wichita Falls-Lawton, Texas 658 652
140 Charlotte, North Carolina 658 659
141 Fort Smith, Arkansas 657 652
142 Paducah, Missouri 657 670
143 Twin Falls, Idaho 656 676
144 Clarksburg-Weston, West Virginia 656 658
145 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 656 653
146 Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas 655 652
147 Joplin-Pittsburg, Missouri 655 670
148 Dothan, Alabama 655 651
149 Mobile-Pensacola, Alabama 654 651
150 Norfolk, Virginia 654 675
151 Jonesboro, Arkansas 654 652
152 Charleston, West Virginia 654 658
153 Indianapolis, Indiana 653 660
154 Houston, Texas 653 652
155 Casper-Riverton, Wyoming 653 670
156 Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas 653 652
157 Yuma-El Centro, California 653 670
158 Reno, Nevada 653 642
159 Little Rock-Pine Bluff, Arkansas 652 652
159 Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Florida 652 660
161 Abilene-Sweetwater, Texas 652 652
162 New Orleans, Louisiana 652 645
163 Albuquerque-Santa Fe, New Mexico 652 652
164 Panama City, Florida 652 660
165 Jackson, Tennessee 651 656
166 Greenville, North Carolina 651 659
167 Tulsa, Oklahoma 651 653
168 San Antonio, Texas 651 652
169 Charleston, South Carolina 651 650
170 Atlanta, Georgia 651 646
171 Lexington, Kentucky 651 658
172 Lafayette, La, Louisiana 650 645
173 Chattanooga, Tennessee 650 656
174 Jacksonville, Florida 650 660
175 Bluefield-Beckley, West Virginia 649 658
176 Birmingham, Alabama 649 651
177 El Paso, Texas 648 652
178 Biloxi-Gulfport, Mississippi 648 638
179 Tallahassee, Florida 648 660
180 Hattiesburg-Laurel, Mississippi 648 638
181 Baton Rouge, Louisiana 647 645
182 Amarillo, Texas 647 652
183 Waco-Temple-Bryan, Texas 647 652
184 Columbia, South Carolina 646 650
185 Lubbock, Texas 645 652
186 Corpus Christi, Texas 644 652
187 Odessa-Midland, Texas 644 652
188 Fresno-Visalia, California 643 670
189 Montgomery (Selma), Alabama 643 651
190 Macon, Georgia 642 646
191 Columbus, Georgia 641 646
192 Tyler-Longview, Texas 641 652
193 Sherman-Ada, Oklahoma 641 653
194 Savannah, Georgia 639 646
195 Memphis, Tennessee 639 656
196 Monroe-El Dorado, Louisiana 639 645
197 Florence-Myrtle Beach, South Carolina 638 650
198 Columbus-Tupelo-West Point, Mississippi 638 638
199 Bakersfield, California 637 670
200 Las Vegas, Nevada 637 642
201 Augusta, Georgia 637 646
202 Shreveport, Louisiana 637 645
203 Lake Charles, Louisiana 636 645
204 Meridian, Mississippi 635 638
205 Jackson, Mississippi 633 638
206 Harlingen, Texas 631 652
207 Alexandria, Louisiana 630 645
208 Laredo, Texas 627 652
209 Riverside-San Bernardino, California 620 670
210 Albany, Georgia 619 646
211 Greenwood-Greenville, Mississippi 602 638

Methodology

All credit scores are Vantage 3.0 credit scores from Experian from May 2015.


Infographic by Dora Pintek.

Image via iStock.