These Cities Have Residents with the Highest Credit Scores and the Lowest Debt


NEW YORK (MainStreet) — The average credit score in America is 665, using a rating methodology developed by the three major credit reporting companies. But in an analysis of the top 20 major U.S. metropolitan areas conducted by Experian, one city rises to the distinction of having the most credit-worthy residents of all, with an average score of 702: Minneapolis. Not far behind are Boston-proud residents with an average score of 694, followed by San Francisco (689), Seattle (679) and New York (678).

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Atlanta residents have has the lowest average credit score of the cities considered, with a below-average score of 646. San Diego residents managed to increase their credit scores from 662 to 666 over the past four years – but also had the highest increase in average debt (+11%) from $23,797 to $26,423. Phoenix citizens had the highest boost to their average credit score of any city, with an increase of seven points compared to 2010, from 647 to 654.

Meanwhile, Detroit is on a debt diet, losing over 7% in amounts due; residents there have the lowest average debt ($23,604) of America's top 20 cities. But folks living in Dallas have a Texas-sized average debt of $28,240 – that's up over 7% during the same period. Nationally, Experian reports average debt has increased by 5% since 2010.

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"There is a lot more behind the numbers than meets the eye – 19 of the cities had increases in their debt amounts, which could actually be signaling a recovery pattern as credit lending is opening up and consumers are becoming more confident," says Michele Raneri, Experian's vice president of analytics. "Detroit, while being the only city to decrease its average debt, is also showing signs of recovery amid the unemployment and economic pressures the city is experiencing."

Of the 20 cities analyzed, the metros with the lowest average debt, following Detroit, were Los Angeles, Miami, New York and Boston. The cities with the highest amounts of debt, following Dallas, were Houston; Washington, D.C.; Seattle; and Baltimore.

--Written by Hal M. Bundrick for MainStreet

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