Report: The states with the best and worst credit scores

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States with the best and worst credit scores
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Ever wonder how your credit score compares to other U.S. consumers? The average Vantage score stands at 680, according to figures from Experian, one of three major credit bureaus.

Credit scores are powerful indicators of how much purchasing power individual American consumers have. But did you ever wonder if certain regions have better or worse credit scores than others?

States with the best (and worst) credit scores

Before we get into the breakdown of the states with the best and worst credit scores, here’s some background:

The three main credit-reporting agencies — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — use a number of different models, including VantageScore and FICO, to come up with your credit score.

VantageScore and FICO models range from 300 to 850, meaning that you could fall anywhere in between. The biggest credit score measuring sticks are whether you pay your bills on time and how much debt you have.

Other factors taken into account include your credit history and whether you’ve filed for bankruptcy.

In Experian’s ninth annual state of credit report, it shows states with the highest credit scores as well as the lowest.

Here’s a look at the top states based on their average VantageScore:

States with the highest credit scores

Rank Model VantageScore  
1 Minnesota 713
2 South Dakota 708
3 Vermont 704
4 New Hampshire 703
5 North Dakota 702

The report also broke down average credit scores by other parameters, including gender and listed states with the lowest average VantageScores:

States with the lowest credit scores

Rank Model VantageScore  
1 Louisiana 655
2 Mississippi 656
3 Nevada 660
4 Texas 660
5 Oklahoma 661

If your personal credit score isn’t that great, take heart: Various creditors have various ideas about what makes a “good” credit score.

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Money expert Clark Howard says a decent credit score can be the difference of whether you get a loan or not.

If your credit score is on the low end, you may be wondering what a good benchmark to reach for is. Here’s what Clark has to say:

“There are certain breakpoints where things get easier for you. One that’s really important is being around a 680. That’s a point at which people look at you differently than when you’re below that.”

Don’t settle for a low credit rating. Here are five sneaky ways to raise your credit score.

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