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State Residents with the Best and Worst Credit Strength

We ranked all 50 states and the District of Columbia by the credit strength of its residents considering: average credit score and credit card, auto and mortgage delinquencies.

State Residents with the Best and Worst Credit Strength

We all know that all states are not created equal, especially when it comes to factors like income, education and cost of living. While all of these factors can affect the relative credit health of residents, it's not a direct correlation. Credit can thrive anywhere. So we looked into it.

We ranked all 50 states and the District of Columbia by the credit strength of their residents considering the following criteria: average credit score, credit card delinquencies, auto loan delinquencies and mortgage delinquencies. We analyzed all of these credit factors to give each state a score for “Credit Strength” from 0 to 100.

Here Is How The 50 States Stack Up On Credit Strength

RankStateCredit Strength
1North Dakota96
2Minnesota94
3Wisconsin89
4Nebraska87
5South Dakota82
6Iowa80
7Washington80
8Colorado79
9Alaska79
10Utah78
11New Hampshire78
12Massachusetts76
13Idaho76
14Oregon76
15Montana73
16Hawaii72
17Vermont71
18Virginia71
19Kansas71
20Wyoming66
21Connecticut62
22California62
23Pennsylvania61
24Michigan62
25Rhode Island60
26Illinois60
27Missouri59
28Maine58
29Ohio58
30Tennessee56
31Indiana53
32Maryland51
33Arizona49
34Kentucky49
35District of Columbia47
36New York46
37Arkansas46
38North Carolina43
39West Virginia43
40New Jersey42
41Texas40
42Oklahoma40
43Alabama39
44Delaware34
45Georgia33
46Louisiana33
47South Carolina32
48Florida30
49Mississippi27
50Nevada27
51New Mexico26

The Midwest Tends to Have the Highest Credit Score

Eighteen states have average credit scores lower than the national average of 669 (Transunion Vantagescore). The state with the lowest credit score average is Mississipi (642) and the state with the highest is Minnesota (707).

These states are fairly representative of their region. Southern states generally have lower credit scores while states in the Midwest tend to have the highest scores. While factors like job opportunities, cost of living and other local influences definitely affect credit-score averages, credit scores can flourish anywhere.

In case you’re wondering, and you probably are, blue states have a higher average credit score (676) than red states (667).

States Rank by Credit Score: Best to Worst

RankStateAverage Credit Score
1Minnesota707
2North Dakota700
3Wisconsin698
4South Dakota697
5Massachusetts694
6Nebraska692
7New York692
8Hawaii691
9Pennsylvania691
10New Hampshire690
11Colorado689
12Iowa686
13Connecticut684
14Montana684
15Oregon682
16Washington682
17Idaho680
18Illinois679
19Ohio679
20Virginia679
21Michigan678
22Utah678
23California677
24Vermont677
25Alaska674
26Arizona674
27Kansas674
28Missouri674
29Rhode Island672
30Maine671
31New Jersey671
32Wyoming671
33Florida669
34Maryland667
35Indiana666
36Tennessee666
37District of Columbia665
38Delaware661
39North Carolina660
40Oklahoma660
41West Virginia660
42Nevada658
43Texas657
44Alabama656
45Kentucky656
46South Carolina655
47Arkansas653
48Louisiana650
49New Mexico648
50Georgia644
51Mississippi642

Nevada Has The Highest Rate of Credit Card Delinquency

In evaluating the rate of credit card delinquency (percent of credit card debt balances 90+ days past due), the state with the lowest rate is North Dakota (4.22%) and the highest is Nevada (9.88%). Thirteen states have delinquency rates higher than the national average of 7.23%.

However, credit card delinquency is very different from credit card debt balances (the total amount owed). The states with the lowest and highest average credit card debt balances are Mississippi (lowest) and Alaska (highest) respectively.

States Rank by Credit Card Delinquency: Lowest to Highest

RankStateCredit Card Delinquency Rate
1North Dakota4.22%
2Wisconsin4.47%
3Nebraska4.82%
4Alaska5.01%
5Minnesota5.17%
6District of Columbia5.22%
7Washington5.36%
8Vermont5.46%
9Iowa5.48%
10Utah5.56%
11Kansas5.61%
12South Dakota5.73%
13Virginia5.87%
14Illinois5.94%
15Colorado6.01%
16Hawaii6.02%
17New Hampshire6.07%
18Oregon6.08%
19Indiana6.10%
20Idaho6.18%
21Montana6.24%
22Maryland6.31%
23Michigan6.40%
24Massachusetts6.43%
25Connecticut6.44%
26Maine6.49%
27Wyoming6.49%
28Kentucky6.57%
29Tennessee6.67%
30Ohio6.81%
31Mississippi7.04%
32Pennsylvania7.05%
33Louisiana7.06%
34Rhode Island7.06%
35Missouri7.10%
36Alabama7.16%
37New Jersey7.20%
38Oklahoma7.22%
39West Virginia7.34%
40North Carolina7.36%
41Georgia7.37%
42South Carolina7.65%
43Arkansas7.81%
44Texas7.84%
45Delaware7.92%
46California8.15%
47New York8.22%
48New Mexico8.32%
49Arizona8.63%
50Florida9.55%
51Nevada9.88%

Washington DC Has the Worst Auto Loan Delinquency

While auto loan delinquency is generally lower than credit card delinquency, it varies a few points from state to state. The percent of delinquent (90+days past due) auto loans is lowest in Minnesota (1.72%) and highest in Washington, DC (5.97%).

Surprisingly, while D.C. has the highest rate of auto loan delinquency, they have the lowest average auto debt balance at $2,930. That’s more than $1000 less than the national average of $4,340.

States Rank by Auto Loan Delinquency: Lowest to Highest

RankStateAuto Loan Delinquency Rate
1Minnesota1.72%
2Massachusetts1.83%
3North Dakota1.98%
4Idaho2.01%
5Oregon2.03%
6Washington2.08%
7Alaska2.09%
8Utah2.11%
9Iowa2.13%
10Connecticut2.22%
11Nebraska2.22%
12New Hampshire2.22%
13Wisconsin2.22%
14Maine2.25%
15Rhode Island2.26%
16Montana2.57%
17Vermont2.57%
18New Jersey2.67%
19Hawaii2.68%
20Colorado2.72%
21South Dakota2.72%
22California2.92%
23New York2.96%
24Wyoming2.96%
25Kansas2.97%
26Virginia3.03%
27Pennsylvania3.34%
28Illinois3.45%
29Delaware3.71%
30Missouri3.71%
31Maryland3.75%
32Ohio3.83%
33Arkansas3.89%
34Tennessee3.93%
35Kentucky4.08%
36Michigan4.25%
37Indiana4.26%
38Arizona4.29%
39Nevada4.37%
40Florida4.45%
41West Virginia4.58%
42North Carolina4.73%
43Oklahoma4.81%
44Texas4.87%
45Georgia5.21%
46South Carolina5.28%
47Alabama5.32%
48New Mexico5.40%
49Louisiana5.42%
50Mississippi5.55%
51District of Columbia5.97%

North Dakota Has Consistently Has the Lowest Rate of Mortgage Delinquency

Mortgage delinquency rates are nearly back down to pre-recession rates, when the state with the highest rate of delinquency, Florida, had a rate of more than 20% in 2009 and 2010. During which time, North Dakota was the only state to have a rate less than 2%.

As of 2016, the state with the highest rate of mortgage delinquency is New Jersey (3.45%) and the lowest is North Dakota (0.59%).

States Rank by Mortgage Delinquency: Lowest to Highest

RankStateMortgage Delinquency Rate
1North Dakota0.59%
2Colorado0.61%
3Minnesota0.74%
4South Dakota0.74%
5Nebraska0.79%
6Utah0.86%
7California0.87%
8Alaska0.93%
9Kansas0.96%
10Virginia0.96%
11Wisconsin0.96%
12Wyoming0.96%
13Idaho0.95%
14Michigan0.99%
15Washington1.00%
16Iowa1.01%
17Arizona1.05%
18Missouri1.05%
19Tennessee1.07%
20Montana1.08%
21Oregon1.11%
22New Hampshire1.12%
23Arkansas1.13%
24Texas1.25%
25Vermont1.37%
26Alabama1.14%
27North Carolina1.43%
28Kentucky1.46%
29Indiana1.48%
30District of Columbia1.49%
31Ohio1.49%
32Georgia1.50%
33West Virginia1.56%
34Hawaii1.57%
35Massachusetts1.57%
36Oklahoma1.76%
37Rhode Island1.78%
38Pennsylvania1.82%
39Louisiana1.87%
40South Carolina1.91%
41New Mexico1.92%
42Illinois1.93%
43Maryland1.97%
44Mississippi2.12%
45Nevada2.19%
46Florida2.35%
47Maine2.35%
48Connecticut2.50%
49Delaware2.90%
50New York3.22%
51New Jersey3.45%

Methodology
We analyzed data for all 50 States (and the District of Columbia) on the following four criteria, each 25% of total “Credit Strength” score:

  • Average credit score (Transunion 2015, Vantagescore).
    Credit Card Delinquency [Percent of Credit Card Debt Balance 90+ Days Delinquent] (New York Fed, Q4 2016)
  • Auto Loan Delinquency [Percent of Auto Debt Balance 90+ Days Delinquent] (New York Fed, Q4 2016)
  • Mortgage Delinquency [Percent of Mortgage Debt Balance 90+ Days Delinquent] (New York Fed, Q4 2016
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Brionna LewisBrionna Lewis

Brionna is on a roller coaster that only goes up. You can follow her on twitter @BrionnaLewis.

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