10 Metro Areas With the Worst Credit Ratings in the U.S.

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Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ameriswede/

America runs on credit. Everyone from landlords to bank employees and even sometimes employers makes decisions based on credit reports, and to them, sometimes an individual is nothing more or less than their credit history. Unfortunately, this works against most people.

Up until 2013, VantageScore credit ratings ran in a range between 501 and 990, with each 99-point range (or 89 points for the top tier) assigned a letter grade A through F. A represents “Super Prime” credit, while F represents “High Risk.” On average, credit card holders in the United States earn a “D,” or “Non-Prime” grade on their credit. What’s also interesting is that the average credit rank of the 10 Metropolitan Statistical Areas, or MSAs, with the lowest average credit score is 640.7, also a D.

Meanwhile, the average credit rank of the 10 MSAs with the highest average credit score is 754.8, or a B, “Prime Plus.” The 10 lowest MSAs average total debt that is not significantly higher than the national average and actually carry an average bankcard balance that is below the national average. People in these regions also use fewer bankcards on average than the nation as a whole. They do, though, average a higher credit utilization rate, which has a negative impact on credit score.

  Average VantageScore Average debt # of bank cards Average balance Credit utilization
National 681 $27,887 2.19 $4,501 30%
10 lowest MSAs 640.7 $28,002.20 1.68 $4,075 34.6%
10 highest MSAs 754.8 $27,437.90 2.175 $3,773 25.3%

Here’s a look at the 10 MSAs with the lowest average VantageScore credit rating.

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