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- The state with the highest average credit score is Minnesota, with an average score of 742.
- The state with the lowest average credit score is Mississippi, with an average score of 680.
- The 62-point difference between state averages is the difference between a good and very good credit score.
The average FICO credit score in 2022 was 714, and the average VantageScore credit score was 701. However, average credit scores vary widely based on a number of factors, including age and race.
Average credit scores also vary significantly based on location. The average Minnesota resident has a 742 credit score, the highest average of any state. Meanwhile, the state with the lowest average credit score is Mississippi, at 680.
10 states with the highest average credit score
According to data gathered by Experian, the 10 states with the highest average credit scores in 2022 are as follows:
|Credit Scores (FICO)
The 10 states with the lowest average credit score
Overall, credit scores have risen over the past couple of decades. In 2012, the average credit score was 689 compared to 714 in 2022. Yet some states continue to lag behind the national average. The 10 states with the lowest average credit scores in 2022 are as follows:
|Credit score (FICO)
It’s worth noting that of these 10 states, all but one are located in the South, as defined by the US Census Bureau. However, even at the bottom of this list, the average resident in all these states would have a “prime” credit score, above 660.
You’d also think that the states with the lowest credit scores would have the most debt, though this isn’t the case. In fact, Mississippi has the lowest average credit card debt and the second lowest total debt average.
How credit scores are categorized
The range of possible credit scores spans from 300 to 850, which FICO categorizes into five levels called risk categories. While lending decisions aren’t solely determined by your credit score or which risk category you fall into, these help gauge how likely you are to qualify for a loan or credit card.
The five risk categories and their corresponding ranges are:
|FICO risk category
|FICO score range
Looking at this spread, the average credit score of 49 states falls into the “good” category. Minnesota, with a 742 average score, is the only exception, nudging its way into a “very good” average score.
How do you raise your credit score?
Raising your credit score isn’t a matter of eliminating negative information from your credit report, but building positive information on top of your negative information.
You should prioritize making payments on your current lines of credit on time. If your minimum payments are posing a problem each month, consider consulting with a credit counselor and signing up for a debt management plan. The best debt management services can negotiate a lower interest rate with your creditors or lower your minimum payments in exchange for longer payment periods.
Keeping track of your credit score is a good habit to get into, so you’ll know your financial standing in the eyes of creditors at any given point. You can check your credit score with a credit monitoring service. Some of the best credit monitoring services are even free.
Average credit scores by state frequently asked questions
Why are credit scores worse in the South?
Credit scores across southern states are the result of medical debt, according to an analysis from The Washington Post. On average, residents in these states have higher medical debts than residents in other states, which the analysis attributes to whether or not those stated expanded Medicaid. While medical debt has been deprioritized in FICO score calculations and nixed entirely on VantageScore calculations, this effect is still significant enough to bring down credit scores in the South.
Does bad credit follow you to another state?
Yes, bad credit will follow you from state to state, and even if you immigrate to another country.
Which state has the lowest credit rating?
Mississippi has the lowest average credit score of all states in 2022 at 680, which is 34 points below the national average. Mississippi also had the lowest average in 2021, at 681.