Does your neighbor’s credit habits impact how you handle your finances? According to some interesting data, the answer is yes. Credit reporting bureau Experian recently released its State of Credit report, and it shows that cities in one region have the highest credit scores in the country while a region on the opposite side of the country have the worst.
Where does your city fall, and how does it compare to the cities with the best and worst credit? Let’s take a look at the results and see how your credit score stacks up.
Cities with the best credit scores
The best credit scores in the nation are almost all in America’s great north-central region encompassing Minnesota, Wisconsin, and South Dakota. With one exception all of the top ten cities for credit scores land in this region. The only oddball is San Francisco, which is nowhere near the rest.
Here is a list of the top ten credit score cities according to the report:
Top 10 Highest Average Credit Scores by City
Rankings City State 2017 Average VantageScore Population
1 Minneapolis Minn. 709 205,974
2 Rochester Minn. 708 50,635
3 Mankato Minn. 708 6,814
4 Wausau Wis. 706 20,222
5 Green Bay Wis. 705 52,023
6 Duluth Minn. 704 20,339
7 Sioux Falls S.D. 704 30,963
8 San Francisco Calif. 703 366,444
9 La Crosse Wis. 703 24,214
10 Madison Wis. 703 45,295
Four of the top ten are in Minnesota four are in Wisconsin. That is a very interesting correlation. What is in the culture of these states that puts them ahead of the rest in terms of credit?
Looking at Minnesota, the region has a strong economy and relatively low cost of living compared to big coastal cities, so residents may find themselves in a better financial footing than other cities. Minnesota also ranks high in education, which doesn’t hurt career and job prospects.
But at the same time, according to Experian, Minnesotans tend to be better at paying their bills on-time. The Midwestern mentality is to prioritize savings and pay down debts. The study found that Minnesotans keep credit card balances low and 80% of residents do not have any accounts past 90 days due.
Low unemployment helps, but it comes back to the fundamentals of paying bills on-time and paying down debt. Is it because it’s so cold in the winter they just sit around looking at their finances? Or maybe it is a good example set by neighboring friends in Canada? I doubt it!
Cities with the worst credit scores
As with the best credit scores list, the worst credit scores in the nation all come from the same region, with one exception on the list from California. Somehow the most populous state made both the best and worst credit score top ten lists!
For the remaining cities, they are all in Mississippi, Georgia, Texas, Louisiana, and Alabama. Texas claims four of the cities with the worst credit scores and Louisiana follows with two, but these are not titles to brag about. Here is the full list from Experian: