Cities with the worst credit scores
Midwesterners in general can be proud of their credit scores. But in the South, not so much.
Wisconsin may want to change its state motto. According to new data from Experian, the dairy state is actually the preferred home of the credit elite, with four of its cities -- Madison, Wausau, Green Bay and La Crosse -- making the credit bureau's list of American cities with the highest credit scores.
Experian finds consumers in the Midwest generally demonstrate they are good for a loan, while those in the South are still struggling to establish creditworthiness. Eight of the 10 cities with the lowest credit scores are in the Southern U.S. Four of these -- Harlingen, Corpus Christi, Tyler and El Paso -- are in Texas.
The rankings are based on scores from a random sample of consumers in Experian's database. The scores were calculated using VantageScore, which has a range of 501 to 990. (Recall, there are a number of different credit scores available to both consumers and lenders, beyond just the common 300-850 FICO credit-scoring model.)
Experian says credit scores are improving nationwide, but only slightly.
Five out of 10 of the bottom markets increased their credit scores and decreased debt since Experian analyzed them in 2010. However, average debt nationwide decreased by only about 1%, down about $200 to $24,542, indicating that those working to improve their debt-to-credit ratio, a major component of all credit scores, aren't making too much headway. Post continues after video.
"(The) data shows that we still have a long way to go toward economic prosperity, but that many consumers are taking small steps toward improving their credit and debt management," Michele Raneri, vice president of analytics for Experian, said in a press release.
According to the data, the cities with the highest credit scores are:
- Wausau, Wis., 789.
- Minneapolis, 787.
- Madison, Wis., 785.
- Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 781.
- San Francisco, 781.
- Green Bay, Wis., 780.
- Boston, 779.
- Peoria, Ill., 778.
- Sioux Falls, S.D., 778.
- La Crosse, Wis., 777.
The cities with the lowest credit scores are:
- Harlingen, Texas, 686.
- Jackson, Miss., 701.
- Corpus Christi, Texas, 702.
- Monroe, La., 706.
- Shreveport, La., 706.
- Augusta, Ga., 709.
- Bakersfield, Calif., 709.
- Las Vegas, 709.
- Tyler, Texas, 710.
- El Paso, Texas, 710.
You can find the complete list of cities measured in the analysis on Experian's website.
More on MainStreet and MSN Money:
You people do know credit score is NOT a product of how good you pay your bills? It is a calculation of basically how much money you can keep as principal and paying interest to the banks on. My credit score is under 550. I have not posessed a credit card for 20-years. I pay everything in cash. I own multiple houses and have no reason to loan or borrow from anyone.
Credit Score is not a reference to how financial worthy you are. It is a reference of how easy it is for the banks to pilfer your pockets.
Now a list of average debt would be the real indicator I would like to see.
I love how the American people are so quick to butcher each other. How about the credit card companies that have taken millions to the cleaners because people don't know better? This is true in both the North & the South. I have lived in both areas in my life and I find more and more uneducated people when it comes to debt and finances. These credit card companies hit you hard when you're young. Usually with sign up tables at universities. Our education system is great when it comes to teaching you how to read and write, or add and multiply. However, how many high schools teach students how to balance a checkbook or the consequences of maxing out a credit card? I have never heard of any. Also - if you notice, bad credit scores follow the highest poverty stricken areas. If you know of someone needing good financial principles - Dave Ramsey is the way to go!!!
REALLY.....??? Saddle up Wausau Wis. with the same number of illegal immigrants that Harlingen Texas has to manage and let's see how high their score goes. Businesses have been dolling out credit to any illegal with a construction job for the last 10 years and NOW they wonder what happened? That same mexican that ran up his Visa card to the max is driving his brand new Silverado pick up he just financed back to Tijuana.
If you have a bad credit score, and your poor, and uneducated and need a Master to provide you with direction, vote Republican. They'll keep you that way. Right where they want you. After all if your uneducated your not going anywhere.
You are apparently among the uneducated that you speak of. I mean anybody can make a type-o doing a post, but you misspelled you're 3 times in 3 sentences. You're is actually 2 words you know and is combined into one word. It's called a contraction. Your is a possessive adjective, that shows possession. You do not have to have a masters degree to know that.
Did you finish the 4th grade? Do you really think anyone is going to value your opinion when you cannot even spell at an elementary school level? Maybe if you cared enough to educate yourself just a little then you would have a better job. If you don't care any more than that, why would anyone want to hire you?
i would love to have a credit score of 686. last time i checked, i'm pretty sure it was in the negatives.
The level of baseless blaming Red States or Republicans on credit scores is astounding.
People are quick to blame and long to check out other statistics. There is a much, much larger population of hispanics in the south. They are typically low wage earners, and shockingly, they vote Dem. I bet if you did a real study of credit worthiness to political leaning, you'd have a different picture, probably a more even split.
But I guess you can't explain why Wisconsin is at the top of the list, and they voted in a Republican Gov and House.
It's not a Credit Score. It's a Debt Score. It doesn't have anything to do with the Governor. It has to do with personal responsiblity. If you can't pay cash don't buy it. When you borrow you are spending money you haven't even made yet. What happens if you loose your job ?
Or like Student Loans and don't get that job you wanted. Maybe you can't drive a brand new car. Maybe the nice new house is just not in your budget yet. Maybe eating out isn't dinner, and planning and cooking are. This is America. It's on you not the collective.
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
ABOUT SMART SPENDING
LATEST BLOG POSTS
Homeowners associations ban them and environmentalists love them. All that aside, though, a clothesline saves you money.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
BLOGS WE LIKE
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'