Your address doesn’t factor into your credit standing, but there are geographical trends to credit scores. For example, people in the northern Midwest have historically had high average credit scores. Low average credit scores are common in Southern and Western states.
Four of the 10 cities with the highest average credit scores are in Minnesota, according to Experian’s 2015 State of Credit report. The figures are based on consumer data in the Experian-Oliver Wyman Market Intelligence Reports from the second quarter of this year. It provides an in-depth look at credit characteristics in more than 100 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), as determined by the Census Bureau.
On average, U.S. consumers have a 669 credit score on the VantageScore 3.0 scale (300 to 850), which is up 3 points from last year. In one city, the average score is 37 points higher, at 706. Here are the 10 MSAs with the highest average credit scores (score averages are rounded to the nearest whole number):
Mankato, Minn. — 706
Rochester, Minn. — 705
Minneapolis, Minn. — 704
Fargo, N.D. — 701
Wausau, Wis. — 701
Duluth, Minn. — 701
Sioux Falls, S.D. — 700
Green Bay, Wis. — 700
La Crosse, Wis. — 699
Cedar Rapids, Iowa — 699
The biggest factors that determine a consumer’s credit scores are payment history and amount of debt relative to credit limit, so people who make loan payments on time and use very little of their credit cards’ available credit tend to have great credit scores. Among these 10 cities, consumers used only 26% of their credit cards’ credit limits on average.
There are a lot of things that can indirectly play into someone’s credit score, even though they’re not included in credit reports. Take income, for example: It’s not reported to credit bureaus, and it’s common for someone who might be considered wealthy to have poor credit. Likewise, you can make very little money and have great credit. It’s all in how you manage your finances. Still, a high income theoretically makes it easier to avoid debt and pay bills on time, which in turn can help your credit scores. In a city or state with high average credit scores, that data may be related to a variety of things, like employment opportunities and financial services infrastructure in that area, not just people’s attention to managing their credit.