Minnesotans are generally very good with credit. In an analysis of the 20 largest metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) in the U.S., Minneapolis residents had the highest average credit score. In fact, it was the only big city with an average credit score in the “good” category (all the others were “fair” or “poor”).
Minnesota also shines in a state-by-state comparison: It has the highest average credit score of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Both the state and MSA data come from Experian-Oliver Wyman Market Intelligence Reports.
What makes the Land of 10,000 Lakes a popular place among the credit elite? While there’s no single answer to that question, the high credit scores make sense, considering the state’s high financial literacy rating, low loan delinquency rates and low debt levels. It’s not the best in every credit category, but Minnesota’s residents seem to do a little bit of everything right — enough so that they have high credit scores.
There may be cities with higher average credit scores, but the Experian analysis looked only at the 20 most-populated areas, which had average credit scores ranging from 646 (Atlanta) to 702 (Minneapolis). The analysis used the VantageScore 3.0 credit scoring model, which is on a scale from 301 to 850. Some of the high-credit-score cities were located in states with a similarly high score, like Minneapolis and Minnesota, but that wasn’t the case for all. Here are the 10 largest cities with the best average credit scores:
10. Philadelphia — 672
9. St. Louis — 673
8. Washington, D.C. — 674
7. Denver — 675
5. (tie) New York and Miami — 678
4. Seattle — 679
3. San Francisco — 689
2. Boston — 694
1. Minneapolis — 702
Credit scores are determined by several factors, including your payment history and how much you use of your available credit. For example, D.C. residents have a high average of consumer debt (among the top three of the largest cities), but the high average credit score in D.C. indicates those residents also may have higher than average credit limits and pay their bills on time.
It’s important to know your credit score, but you also want to know why it is where it is. You can look at your credit reports for signs of good credit history (like no late payments) or risky credit use (using a lot of your available credit). You can also get free credit scores with a Credit.com account and see a monthly snapshot of your credit behavior and how it is reflected in your scores.
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