Lower interest rates, better insurance coverage, and access to better credit cards are just a few of the benefits you can experience when establishing a good line of credit. In this post-pandemic world of car shortages, rising interest rates, and a booming housing market, credit scores have become extremely important. Don’t have a great credit score? No problem. We sought out the best spots in the U.S. to boost your credit score. Read on to see what we found!
The Top 10 Best U.S. Cities for Boosting Your Credit Score
Coming in at the top spot for best cities to boost your credit score is Boston, with an overall score of 37.04 out of a total score of 50. A combination of a high mean credit score of 720, a high minimum wage at $14.25 per hour, a low unemployment rate of 3.7%, and a high number of financial advisors per capita at 121 boosts this city to the top of the rankings. According to Experian, the average credit score in the U.S. is 714,¹ so Boston comes in 6 points higher than the national average.
New York boasts 3 of its cities in the top 10 rankings and New York City did not make the cut. Rochester is in the third spot with an overall score of 36.38 and a low unemployment rate of 2.3%. Albany, the capital city of New York, sits in the fourth spot with an overall score of 33.29. This is the only small city to make it into the top 10 rankings with a city size of just 99,224. A small city is defined as a city with less than 100,000 people.² Syracuse is the third city in New York that makes it into the top 10 with an overall score of 30.8. All 3 cities average a cost of living index of 70.29, which means it is 30% cheaper to live in one of these cities than the national average.
The Worst U.S. Cities for Boosting Your Credit Score
One thing to note from the worst cities to boost your credit score is that half of the cities are located in Texas. There are multiple factors that contribute to these cities being in this ranking, but the biggest common denominators are that they have the lowest average credit score and the highest average credit card debt. Although these cities have a low cost of living, the average mean credit score in Texas is 674, a full 40 points lower than the national average. When it comes to credit scores, just a few points can make a difference. Teetering on that line between a fair credit score and a good credit score can greatly impact your ability to secure the loan amount you need.
Other notable cities to mention in this list are New Orleans and Atlanta, both boasting low credit scores and high credit card debt. Read on to see the full list of cities and data for each of the ranking factors.
Where Does Your City Rank?
Interested to see your city’s stats? The table below provides a comprehensive list of all cities that we evaluated and the data for each ranking factor.
To conduct our analysis, we started with 60 of the largest cities in the U.S. We collected data on 8 different factors. Each factor was assigned a weight based on its importance in boosting credit score. From there, we converted the data into a score of 0 to 5, with 5 equating to the most favorable conditions. Those scores were multiplied by their factors’ weight and added together for a possible total score of 50. The factors are listed below with their respective weights and source data.
Ranking factors include:
If you are looking to boost your credit score, you might want to consider location as a possible factor. The ability to pay off debt is important when determining your credit score and external factors such as minimum wage, per capita personal income, unemployment rate, and cost of living index all contribute to that.
Boston, San Jose, California, and Rochester, New York, are all top cities to boost your credit score, where minimum wages are higher, the unemployment rate is low, and the cost of living is low as well. If you are considering location though, you might want to think about avoiding Texas altogether as all of the cities we analyzed in that state made it into the bottom 10 positions on the list.
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