Midwest credit unions might celebrate while Southern ones rue the news that seven of the ten U.S. cities whose populations have the best credit scores are in the Midwest, according to Experian.
According to the firm, which is one of the nation's three largest credit reporting firms, Minneapolis, Minn., Madison, Wis., and Cedar Rapids, Iowa, topped the list of cities with good credit scores while Harlingen, Texas, Jackson, Miss., and Corpus Christi, Texas, had among the worst.
"As our nation emerges from the most severe economic recession since the Great Depression, Experian is working to help American consumers become smarter, more aware and more confident about their credit than ever before," said Peg Smith, Experian executive vice president. "Certainly, the troubled economy has impacted us all in different ways, and we're now seeing how it is affecting credit scores--which are a critical factor in determining a person's ability to access affordable credit."
While no one factor determines a consumer's credit score, the repercussions of the recession are likely playing some role. Not only do major setbacks such as foreclosures have a major negative impact on credit scores, but simple behaviors such as missing or paying bills late are often the most common factors that drag down credit scores.
"Late payments and delinquencies such as foreclosures drive lower credit scores, and the State of Credit data shows that unemployment has been a major factor in contributing to higher delinquencies," Smith said. "Certainly anyone who has lost a job understands how such a life event could affect their ability to pay their bills on time."