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How Credit Worthy Is Your State?

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This article was last updated Feb 26, 2013, but some terms and conditions may have changed or are no longer available. For the most accurate and up to date information please consult the terms and conditions found on the issuer website.

Ever wonder if your state has good or bad credit? That's what this article is all about. We all know that the economy fluctuates throughout the country, as does the standard of living and general frame of mind. All of that factors into a state's average credit score, which is a slight indication of said state's financial stability.

Experian offers a dedicated website, National Score Index, which provides a summary of geographic credit information based on debt levels (debt to income), credit usage (number of accounts), minimum monthly payments (amount due each month), open credit card accounts (active versus closed), late payments (history of payment timeliness), and number of credit inquiries (applications for credit). All of these variables factor into a "score index" that is similar in rating to that of a consumer credit score.

Let's take a look at some of the score trends from 2012 so you can assess your state's credit worthiness. Keep in mind that the national average in the U.S. for the year was 750, on a scale from 501 to 990. Also note that Experian provides scores for major cities in each state, not the states themselves. All the numbers below are the average scores from the major cities in each state and help paint a picture of how the states have shifted economically.

Top 5 Credit Score States

  1. South Dakota – 784
  2. Minnesota – 782
  3. Idaho – 777
  4. North Dakota – 776
  5. Iowa, Maine, Vermont – 772

Bottom 5 Credit Score States

  1. Mississippi – 708
  2. Georgia – 716
  3. Texas – 718
  4. Louisiana – 720
  5. Nevada – 730

According to the Experian Score Index, New England is the region of the country with the highest rating of credit worthiness. The West South Central area of the United States has the lowest rating of credit worthiness. This indicates that the Northeastern states have a better financial structure than the states of the Midwest, but that may not be true in all circumstances.

State Average Vantage Scores

Here is a list of Experian scores by state. Note that some states did not provide enough data to qualify for the study.

  • Alabama – 732
  • Arizona – 744
  • Arkansas – 732
  • California – 748
  • Colorado – 762
  • Connecticut – 771
  • Florida – 737
  • Georgia – 716
  • Hawaii – 771
  • Idaho – 777
  • Illinois – 760
  • Indiana – 750
  • Iowa – 772
  • Kansas – 756
  • Kentucky – 738
  • Louisiana – 720
  • Maine – 772
  • Maryland – 756
  • Massachusetts – 770
  • Michigan – 749
  • Minnesota – 782
  • Mississippi – 708
  • Missouri – 754
  • Nevada – 730
  • New Mexico – 729
  • New York – 762
  • North Carolina – 742
  • North Dakota – 776
  • Ohio – 755
  • Oklahoma – 732
  • Oregon – 766
  • Pennsylvania – 765
  • Rhode Island – 762
  • South Carolina – 725
  • South Dakota – 784
  • Tennessee – 733
  • Texas – 718
  • Utah – 761
  • Vermont – 772
  • Virginia – 748
  • Washington – 765

Remember, this average includes everybody, from the person who just payed off all their debts to your neighbor who hasn't paid a bill in over a year. How are your spending habits contributing to your state's credit score?

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