National Credit Score Rankings Scorecard

National Credit Score Rankings

Map of Louisiana highlighting East Baton Rouge Parish (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

National Credit Score Rankings:  Best and Worst

TransUnion has done a statistical analysis of the Metro areas with the best and worst credit scores in the United States.  The motivation for commissioning this study was to determine the measure of risk consumers from a given area represent to a potential creditor.  How they expect this information to be used and by whom they don’t say.  The leaders of the pack….A statistical tie lead by San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara California and San Francisco-Oakland-Freemont California.  The Booby Prize goes to Memphis Tennessee.

Trans Union Senior director of consumer education Heather Battson says:  “Just as an individual’s credit score is a measure of the risk that consumer presents to a lender, our study calculated the credit score that would correspond to the risk presented on average by residents of various metropolitan areas.”

It’s worth noting that Trans Union did not measure credit scores using the most widely accepted scoring model known as the FICO score.  Trans Union and the two other giant credit reporting agencies have developed their own “educational” scores, derisively known as FAKO scores by credit professionals.  In this case the score used was Trans Union’s Vantage score.  This score ranges from a low of 501 to a high of 990.  FICO scores are measured within a range of 350-800.  Vantage also gives consumers a grade from A-F academic style.  It is unlikely to be used by your lender.  I suppose it has some value here since it was evenly applied across the board…at least that’s the hope.  Having said that, here we go…

National Credit Score Rankings:  Ten Best

  1. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara California (700)
  2. San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont (696)
  3. Madison Wisconsin (694)
  4. Honolulu, Hawaii (693)    (Number 1 in my book anyway as I sit here in Providence in February)
  5. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington Minn (691)
  6. Bridgeport-Stanford-Norwalk Connecticut (690)
  7. Boston-Cambridge-Quincy Massachusetts (689)
  8. Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura California  (685)
  9. Portland-South Portland-Biddiford Maine (685)
  10. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue- Washington (685)

National Credit Score Rankings:  Ten Worst

  1. Memphis Tennessee (638)
  2. McAllen-Edinburgh-Mission Texas (639)
  3. Jackson Mississsippi (642)
  4. El Paso, Texas (650)
  5. Columbia, South Carolina (650)
  6. Las Vegas-Paradise, Nevada (650)
  7. Little Rock, North Little Rock-Conway Arkansas (651)
  8. Baton Rouge, Louisiana (651)
  9. Lakeland-Winter Have Florida (651)
  10. August-Richmond County Florida (651)

Thoughts on the National Credit Score Rankings Scorecard

It’s interesting to speculate as to what motivated Trans Union to commission this study.  This information is interesting as cocktail party chatter.  I cannot help but see it as one more tool in the number cruncher’s arsenal as the loan making process becomes more and more influenced by “big data.”  I’m currently working on a column delving into the growing trend to link consumer lending not only to credit score and income, but to big data as well.  Believe it or not who you are Facebook or Linked In friends with is being used in some ground breaking credit scoring algorithms. Even your Klout score in one case. You are who your friends are in the computer’s unflinching eye.  Gone forever is the human factor determining your lending worthiness by the content of your character instead of the numbers appearing on the screen.  There are no great surprises that have surfaced from this study. A good handshake and the ability to look your lender squarely in the eye doesn’t count as much as it once did.  This survey is all part of a larger process. It is just one more step in the slicing and dicing of information for marketers to use as they will.

It’s hard to imagine any way this information could be used by lenders without being discriminatory.


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After practicing law for 37 years Edward F. St. Onge, Sr. now devotes all his time to helping consumers achieve a high credit score with amazing speed. Learn the counter-intuitive secrets to credit scoring through his down to earth instructions backed by extensive knowledge of the laws and trends. All of the latest tricks and techniques that they don't want you to know now at your disposal. At last a level playing field for the consumer!

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