State by State: Where People Have the Highest and Lowest Credit Scores

credit reportCasper1774 Studio / Shutterstock.com

A low credit score can keep us from getting loans, credit cards, and maybe even apartments and jobs. That little three-digit number can make or break us financially.

Recently a website called LendEDU took a state-by-state look at credit scores. The idea, according to writer Andrew Rombach, was “to see which states’ residents were doing well financially and (note the) difference between the top-performing states compared to the rest of the country.”

In this study, LendEDU determined the national average credit score to be 682. That number and the state-by-state average scores were calculated based not on Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO) data, but with material from the VantageScore system. This scoring model, jointly created and owned by the three major credit reporting bureaus, requires only one month of credit history and uses fewer updates than FICO does.

VantageScore ignores bills that were once sent to collections but have since been paid off. Unlike FICO, the system takes into consideration rental- and utility-payment histories — a boon to those who have never used credit. Thus this particular credit snapshot likely provides a better indicator of financial health

Admit it: You’re dying to know where your state stands. This ranking starts with the top-scoring state, and proceeds to the worst.

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