Ten States with the Best and Worst Credit Scores in the U.S.

How to improve credit score

Mini Saha

March 28, 2022
Ten States with the Best and Worst Credit Scores in the USA

Most of you may already know that a credit score is the three-digit number-based information listed on your credit report. It’s the first thing lenders check when you apply for a loan as it helps them determine your creditworthiness, eligibility, loan terms, and interest rate. 

But do you know which states in the U.S. are on the right and wrong sides of the score scale? Read this blog to learn more about them and a few simple ways to boost your credit.

VantageScore and FICO are the most popular credit scoring models ranging between 300 and 850. High credit scores represent a positive payment history and a low credit utilization ratio, typically associated with higher levels of income that allow people to afford debt obligations and make timely payments. 

According to VantageScore’s report of 2021, these are the ten states with the best and the worst credit scores. 

Ten states with the best credit scores

High credit scores often represent a positive payment history and a low credit utilization ratio – the comparison between your total balance and available credit limit.

SrStateAverage Best
Credit Score
SrStateAverage Best
Credit Score
1Minnesota 7246Hawaii716
2Vermont7197South Dakota713
3New Hampshire7198Oregon712
4Massachusetts7189North Dakota712
5Washington71610Colorado711

1. Minnesota 724

Minnesota has held the top average credit score in America since July 2020. According to Census data, the state had a median income of $70,315 in 2018, and National Mortgage Database data shows its average mortgage delinquency rate of 0.50% was lower than the national average.

2. Vermont 719

Vermont had one of the highest average credit scores, despite having a median income of $60,782, which was less than the national average in 2018.

3. New Hampshire 719

According to National Mortgage Database data, New Hampshire shared the same mortgage delinquency rate as the national average of 0.80%. However, Urban Institute credit data from December 2020 shows that the state’s auto delinquency loan was lower than the national average.

4. Massachusetts 718

Residents of Massachusetts had delinquency rates for credit cards, student loans, and auto loans. Regardless, Urban Institute data shows the rates were all lower than the respective national average, placing it fourth on the list.

5. Washington 716

Washington was another state with low delinquency rates of 0.40% (according to National Mortgage Database data) and a high median income of $74,073 (according to Census data). 

But the state residents had a higher level of medical debt in collections, at a median of $1,846 compared to the national median of $1,835 (according to Urban Institute data).

6. Hawaii 716

With a median income of $80,212, Census data shows that Hawaii had the highest income of all the states with the best credit scores. Also, National Mortgage Database data shows the state had a mortgage delinquency rate of 0.40%, half the national average.

7. South Dakota 713

Census data shows that despite a median income of $56,274 in 2018, residents of South Dakota managed debt very well. National Mortgage Database data shows delinquency rate for mortgages was 0.60%, 0.20% lower than the national average.

8. Oregon 712

Oregon was another state which had low delinquency rates. In fact, the Urban Institute data shows the state’s mortgage delinquency rate was 0.40% compared to the national average of 0.80%.

9. North Dakota 712

Residents of North Dakota, much like South Dakota, tend to manage debt well. According to Urban Institute data, the state’s delinquency rates were lower than the national average.

10. Colorado 711

Tenth on the list, according to Census data, Colorado had one of the highest median incomes of $71,953. 

Ten states with the worst credit scores

Census data shows that the ten states with the worst credit scores had an average median income of $50,850, which was $11,087 lower than the national median income in 2018. 

Additionally, the National Mortgage Database data shows the average delinquency rate for the states was 1.09% against the national average of 0.80%. 

SrStateAverage Worst
Credit Score
SrStateAverage Worst
Credit Score
1Mississippi6626Texas673
2Louisiana6677Georgia675
3Alabama6708West Virginia675
4Arkansas6719Kentucky676
5Oklahoma67110South Carolina676

1. Mississippi 662

The state has had the lowest credit score in America since July 2020. According to Census data and National Mortgage Database data, of all the ten states with the worst credit scores, Mississippi had the second-lowest median income of $44,717 and the highest mortgage delinquency rate of 1.50%.

2. Louisiana 667

According to Census data, of the ten states with the lowest credit scores, Louisiana had the fourth-lowest median income of $47,905. Additionally, the National Mortgage Database data shows the state had a mortgage delinquency rate of 1.3%, which was half a percent higher than the national average.

3. Alabama 670

At number three on the list of ten states with the worst credit scores, Census data shows that the state had a median income well below the national average at $49,861.

Likewise, according to National Mortgage Database data, Alabama had a mortgage delinquency rate of 1.30%, 0.50% higher than the national mortgage delinquency rate.

4. Arkansas 671

According to Census data, Arkansas was another southern state with one of the lowest credit scores due to a low median income of $47,062. 

Also, National Mortgage Database data and Urban Institute credit data show that the state’s delinquency rates for mortgages, auto loans, and credit cards were all higher than the national averages. 

5. Oklahoma 671 

According to Urban Institute credit data, 37% of Oklahoma residents had debt in collections compared with the national average of 29%. 

6. Texas 673

Census data shows although Texas had a median income of $60,629, which was close to the national median income, it had one of the lowest average credit scores. 

Urban Institute credit data shows the reason behind this. 23% of Texas residents had medical debt in collections against the national average of 15%.

7. Georgia 675

According to Census data, Georgia had a median income of $58,756, the second-highest income out of the ten states with the worst credit scores. And Urban Institute credit data shows that 37% of Georgia residents had debt in collections compared with the national average of 29%.

8. West Virginia 675

National Mortgage Database data shows that West Virginia had a mortgage delinquency rate of 1.60%, the highest of all the states with the worst credit scores.

Urban Institute credit data shows that 27% of the state’s population had medical debt in collections. 

9. Kentucky 676

According to National Mortgage Database data, Kentucky had a mortgage delinquency rate that was 0.20% higher than the national average. 

And Urban Institute credit data shows the state residents did a better job of avoiding credit card delinquency because the median amount of delinquent credit card debt was $483 against the national average of $589.

10. South Carolina 676

According to Urban Institute credit data, 40% of the state residents had debt in collection compared with the national average of 29%.

Three simple ways to boost your credit score

No matter which state you live in, you can build and maintain a higher-than-average credit score by taking these three actions.

1. Always pay all your bills on time

Making timely bill payments is critical to building your credit, and also because your payment history accounts for 35% of your FICO score. Paying your debt on time adds positive payment history to your credit report, helping to improve your credit score.

If any of your bills go unpaid for 30 days past the due date, your creditor can report it to the three major credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion. Your credit can suffer a tremendous blow if even once a late payment is reported since it stays on the credit report for up to seven years.

2. Maintain a low credit utilization ratio

Credit utilization rate is the amount of debt you owe versus your available credit, another crucial factor for a good score. Lenders may see you as a riskier borrower if you use most of your credit limit, which can drop your score. Keep your credit utilization ratio under 30% to avoid this situation.

3. Review your credit report

According to a recent study by Consumer Reports, when 6000 consumers checked their credit reports, 2040 of those reports (34%) contained at least one error.

Your score can drop if there’s any inaccurate negative information on your credit report. Make sure to check your credit report at least once a year. You can also take the help of Cool Credit, where a team of professionals will evaluate your credit standing and dispute questionable negative items that may be impacting your score.

Remember, you’re eligible to get a free copy of your credit report once a year by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com.

Final words

Even though the average credit score varies from one state to another, this doesn’t impact your individual credit score. Follow a few measures mentioned above to improve your chances of building and maintaining excellent credit.

You may not see immediate results, but adopting good credit-building habits can help you save money over time. And, if you need the support of a trustworthy credit repair company, schedule a free consultation with Cool Credit today.

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