COSTA MESA, Calif., Sept. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Experian, the leading global services information company, revealed the State of Credit, its list of cities with the highest and lowest credit scores. Minneapolis, Minn., Madison, Wis. and Cedar Rapids, Iowa, topped the list. At the bottom of the spectrum were Harlingen, Texas, Jackson, Miss., and Corpus Christi, Texas.
"As our nation emerges from the most severe economic recession since the Great Depression, Experian is working to help American consumers become smarter, more aware and more confident about their credit than ever before," said Experian executive vice president Peg Smith. "Certainly, the troubled economy has impacted us all in different ways, and we're now seeing how it is affecting credit scores – which are a critical factor in determining a person's ability to access affordable credit."
While no one factor determines a consumer's credit score, the repercussions of the recession are likely playing some role. Not only do major setbacks such as foreclosures have a major negative impact on credit scores, but simple behaviors such as missing or paying bills late are often the most common factors that drag down credit scores.
"Late payments and delinquencies such as foreclosures drive lower credit scores, and the State of Credit data shows that unemployment has been a major factor in contributing to higher delinquencies," said Smith. "Certainly anyone who has lost a job understands how such a life event could affect their ability to pay their bills on time."
Below is a snapshot of the 10 cities with the highest average credit scores and the 10 cities with the lowest average credit scores in the U.S. Credit scores translate the information in your credit report into a simple number. The VantageScore listed below uses a 501- 990 scoring range.
Cities with the highest credit scores:
Cities with the lowest credit scores:
1. Minneapolis, Minn.: 787
1. Harlingen, Texas: 684
2. Madison, Wis.: 785
2. Jackson, Miss.: 698
3. Cedar Rapids, Iowa: 781
3. Corpus Christi, Texas: 700
4. Green Bay, Wis.: 780
4. Shreveport, La.: 701
5. San Francisco, Calif.: 780
5. El Paso, Texas: 706
6. Boston, Mass.: 779
6. Monroe, La.: 706
7. Peoria, Ill.: 778
7. Las Vegas, Nev.: 707
8. La Crosse, Wis.: 778
8. Bakersfield, Calif.: 708
9. Seattle, Wash.: 777
9. Myrtle Beach, S.C.: 709
10. Sioux Falls, S.D.: 777
10. Tyler, Texas: 709
To see the complete list of cities and credit scores, please visit www.livecreditsmart.com.
"While it is important to know where your credit scores fall in the range of risk for lenders, the most important thing to understand are the factors in your credit report that determine that risk," said Experian vice president of consumer education Maxine Sweet. "Armed with this knowledge and a recent copy of their credit report, consumers can make informed decisions about their finances and devise a plan to live credit smart."
Now through Oct. 31, Experian is seeking people who face their own credit challenges to share their stories. Beginning Nov. 19, the public will be able to vote for the stories they find most compelling. Five winners will receive $5,000 to help pay off their debts, as well as free counseling from their local chapter of the National Foundation of Credit Counselors who can help them put together a personalized plan to rebuild their credit and take control of their personal finances.
"Whether you are a recent college graduate struggling to find a job and make ends meet or a family trying to tackle a mountain of debt after the loss of a job, we want to hear from you," said Sweet.
To learn more about how to live credit smart or submit your entry, visit www.livecreditsmart.com. You can submit your story and a photo or video online, too.
This data was powered by Experian's Premier Attributes.
VantageScore uses both a number and a letter grade (A, B, C, D or F). VantageScore is the credit industry's first credit rating scale, developed jointly by Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. With VantageScore, consumer scores fall within a range of 501 to 990, with higher scores representing a lower likelihood of risk.
VantageScore leverages the collective experience of industry leading experts on credit data, credit risk modeling and analytics. The nation's three major credit reporting companies (CRCs) - Equifax, Experian and TransUnion - worked together to develop a generic credit scoring model that is regularly revalidated. VantageScore marks the first time that the three companies joined forces to produce a model that scores consumers consistently across all three companies.
By utilizing cutting-edge, patent-pending analytic techniques, VantageScore provides lenders and consumers with a highly consistent, more predictive score that is easy to understand and apply. For more info: http://www.vantagescore.com
Experian is the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients in more than 90 countries. The company helps businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. Experian also helps individuals to check their credit report and credit score and protect against identity theft.
Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended March 31, 2010, was $3.9 billion.
Experian employs approximately 15,000 people in 40 countries and has its corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; Costa Mesa, California; and Sao Paulo, Brazil.
For more information, visit http://www.experianplc.com.
Experian and the Experian marks used herein are service marks or registered trademarks of Experian Information Solutions, Inc. Other product and company names mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.
Edelman for Experian
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