Places where credit scores have risen the fastest

Derek Miller

Your credit score is important. It can help determine whether you get a credit card with a 0% intro APR or a 23% APR. It can also help determine if your mortgage interest rate is going to be 3.5% or 5.5% – or if you qualify for a mortgage at all. People in some cities seem to be doing a better job improving their credit scores as compared to people in other cities. Read on as SmartAsset looks at credit scores across the country to find the places where credit scores are rising the fastest.

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In order to find the places where credit scores have risen the fastest, SmartAsset looked at credit score data from Experian. We use this data to find the percent change in credit scores from 2010 to 2016. We ranked metro areas from largest percent change to the lowest. Check out our data and methodology section to see where we got our data and how we put it together to create our rankings.

Key Findings

  • People are getting more credit savvy – In 2016 the average American is more credit savvy than the average American was in 2010. Data from Experian shows the average credit score for Americans in 2010 was 667. By 2016 that number rose to 673. This held true across most cities, as well. Metro level data shows a similar increase. On average metros saw their residents' credit scores increase by 3.5 points.

  • Things may be a bit shaky in Montana – Montana used to have some of the most credit-savvy residents in the country. And to be fair, they still do. But Big Sky Country residents' credit scores slipped from 2010 to 2016. Two Montana cities, Glendive and Helena, saw credit scores fall by two of the fastest rates in our study, 2.13% and 0.57%, respectively. However residents of both cities still have credit scores well above the national average.

Data and Methodology

In order to find the places where credit scores are rising the fastest, SmartAsset compared average credit scores in 2010 to those in 2016 in 211 metro areas. We based our final ranking on the percent change in credit scores from 2010 to 2016. The areas were ranked from largest percent change to smallest.

Data on credit scores comes from Experian's State of Credit Report for 2016.

Questions about our study? Contact us at press@smartasset.com

Photo credit: iStock.com/Peopleimages

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