In Some Places, Average Is a Failing Credit Score
In Sun City West, Ariz., the average resident has a credit score so high that banks would be lining up to extend loans.
Drive 270 miles northeast to Pinon, Ariz., or 2,400 miles east to Camden, N.J., and the average resident has a credit score so low most banks wouldn’t loan a dime.
A report from LendEDU, a company that helps people find and refinance student loans, shows 1,000 places that have the nation’s highest and lowest average credit scores, using VantageScores that range from 300 to 850.
Both Camden (547) and Pinon (549) fall into the “Very Poor” range of 300-549, which the credit rating company Experian says means “applicants will not likely be approved for credit.” About 17% of borrowers nationwide fall into this category.
Sun City West (789) falls in the “Excellent” range of 750-850, which means applicants are most likely to receive the best rates and most favorable terms. This includes about 30% of U.S. borrowers.
Poverty rates are 42% in Pinon, part of the Navajo Nation, and 34% in Camden, across the Delaware River from Philadelphia. Children account for more than a third of the population in Pinon and Camden; none in Sun City West, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates for 2010.
In Sun City West, a retiree community near Phoenix, only 2% of its individuals and couples live in poverty. They earned about $32,800 per person in 2010, while per capita income is about $10,000 in Pinon and $12,200 in Camden.
LendEDU’s April 12 report also listed the average scores of borrowers in all of the nation’s 100 largest cities by population Those cities all scored within the middle, ranging from a "Good" in Littleton, Colo., (745) to a "Poor" in Detroit (565). Their median credit score was a “Fair” 668, matching the average scores of Nashville, Los Angeles and Sacramento, Calif.
Among the largest cities:
- 27 scored within the “Poor” range of 550-649, which Experian says means “applicants may be approved for some credit, though rates may be unfavorable.” About 34% of U.S. borrowers fall into this category.
- 28 scored within the “Fair” range of 650-699, which means applicants may be approved for credit but likely not at competitive rates. About 18% of borrowers have this score.
- 45 scored within the “Good” range of 700-749, which means applicants likely to be approved for credit at competitive rates. This includes 13% of borrowers, and Hoboken, N.J., (744), home of LendEDU.