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States With Best, Worst Credit Scores

States With Best, Worst Credit ScoresExperian reports South Dakota has highest average credit scores

September 2, 2005


South Dakotans have the best average credit scores, according to one of the three major credit repositories, while Texans have the lowest.

Using a proprietary credit score model, Experian has compiled average credit scores by region.

While FICO scores, including the Experian/Fair Isaac Risk Model score, are “by far” the most commonly scores used by lenders to measure the creditworthiness of individuals, according to, Experian’s own PLUS Score “was created in response to the need for U.S. consumers to improve their knowledge of credit and how it affects them.”

Experian says the average nationwide PLUS Score, which is derived from credit report information using a formula similar to those used by lenders, is 678 — much lower than the reported U.S. median FICO score of 723.

The Mount Rushmore State has the highest average credit score at 711, according to Experian, one of the “Big 3” credit reporting agencies.

Following South Dakota is Vermont with an average of 710.

The remainder of the top five states consist of Minnesota with a 709, North Dakota at 707 and Massachusetts with an average of 705.

Other states that had average credit scores of 700 or more are Iowa, Maine, Montana and New Hampshire.

According to Experian, 20 states have average credit scores below the national level, including California, Colorado, Arkansas, Florida and Indiana.

The Lone Star State had the lowest average credit score as it averaged 651.

Following Texas as the five states with the lowest averages were Nevada with 656, Arizona at 661, New Mexico and Louisiana both came in fourth with a 664, and there was also a tie for the fifth lowest between Georgia and South Carolina at 666, according to Experian.

Coco Salazar is an assistant editor and staff writer for


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