If your credit score could use a boost, consider moving to Minnesota or one of its neighboring states.
The three U.S. cities with the highest average VantageScore in the nation are all in Minnesota, according to Experian's latest annual State of Credit report, which the credit reporting bureau released Wednesday.
Additionally, the 10 cities with the highest average score are all located in Minnesota, Wisconsin or the Dakotas.
The country as a whole is also doing well, though.
The national average credit score increased four points to reach 673 this year. That's only six points shy of the national average reached in 2007, the year before the recession started.
The credit scores of almost every metropolitan area also increased this year.
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Experian considers these increases a sign of continued economic rebounding. The bureau's vice president of analytics and new business development, Michele Raneri, explains:
"We are seeing the positive effects of economic recovery, with the rise in income and low unemployment reflected in how Americans are managing their credit. All credit indicators suggest consumers are not as 'credit stressed.' Credit card balances and average debt are up, while utilization rates remained consistent at 30 percent."
Experian's State of Credit report, now in its seventh year, uses VantageScore data. Along with the FICO score, VantageScore is one of the main consumer credit-scoring models. The VantageScore range is from 300 to 850.
Other findings from the latest report include the following national averages:
Number of credit cards: 2.35 per consumer
Average debt: $39,216 per consumer
Number of retail credit cards: 1.51 per consumer
Average retail debt: $1,081
The 10 cities with the highest credit scores are:
Mankato, Minnesota: Average VantageScore of 708
Rochester, Minnesota: 708
Minneapolis, Minnesota: 707
Green Bay, Wisconsin: 704
Wausau, Wisconsin: 704
Duluth, Minnesota: 703
Sioux Falls, South Dakota: 703
La Crosse, Wisconsin: 703
Fargo, North Dakota: 703
Madison, Wisconsin: 702
The 10 cities with the lowest scores are:
Shreveport, Louisiana: Average VantageScore of 640
Corpus Christi, Texas: 639
Bakersfield, California: 639
Alexandria, Louisiana: 639
Monroe, Louisiana: 639
Laredo, Texas: 635
Riverside, California: 632
Harlingen, Texas: 631
Albany, Georgia: 624
Greenwood, Mississippi: 622
If credit card debt is weighing down your credit score or you need help with credit restoration, be sure to visit the Money Talks News Solutions Center. You'll also find help dealing with credit collectors and finding a new or better credit card.
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