Most of the worst communities for average credit rating were in the south.
There was a matching increase in consumer credit score and consumer debt from 2013 to 2014, according to credit rating company Experian.
In Experian’s Fifth Annual State of Credit study, the average U.S. consumer credit score increased 2 points to 666, on a scale from 300 to 850. A score of 666 is considered fair credit.
The increase in credit score came with an increase in consumer debt, which jumped up 2.3 percent in 2014 to $28,496 per person. That total includes credit card debt, auto loans, personal loans and student loans.
The study revealed the average credit score among the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the United States, and determined there was almost a 100-point difference between the lowest area average credit score and the highest average score. The highest average score was in Mankato, Minn., at 706, while the lowest was 609 reported in Greenwood, Miss.
Generally, speaking, the highest scores were from cities in the northern Midwest, including Iowa, Minnesota, North and South Dakota and Wisconsin. The top four cities were in Minnesota: Mankato, Rochester (703), Minneapolis (702), and Duluth (699).
The rest of the top 10 metropolitan area average credit scores were Fargo, N.D.,, Wausau, Wisc., Green Bay, Wisc., Sioux Falls, N.D., Cedar Rapids, Iowa and LaCrosse, Wisc.
Most of the bottom 10 scores were in the American south. Following Greenwood, Miss., the remaining bottom 10 were Riverside, Calif., Albany, Ga., Harlingen, Texas; Laredo, Texas; Jackson, Miss., Las Vegas, Alexandria, La., Bakersfield, Calif., and Columbus, Miss.
The consumer analysis is based on a statistically relevant sampling of Experian’s consumer credit database and the Q2 Experian-Oliver Wyman Market Intelligence Reports.
“While the study compares cities’ scores with one another, it is important not to focus too much on the number,’’ said Experian drector of public education Rod Griffin. “Experian analyzes vast amounts of consumer credit and macroeconomic data to help understand how consumers across the nation are managing credit.”
Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for www.nba.com. He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.
In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.
McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.
McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy Buffett and all things Disney.