If you’re wondering how you are doing financially amid the pandemic compared to your neighbors or other Americans in general, your credit score may be a good yardstick.
The personal finance website WalletHub in September compared TransUnion’s median credit scores of residents in 2,572 US cities for a list of the best and worst results when it comes to credit worthiness.
Overall, recent research shows that Americans, overall, are doing well despite the economic havoc caused by Covid-19. Thanks in large part to federal aid efforts like stimulus checks, pauses in federal student loan and mortgage repayments, and extended unemployment insurance payments, consumers are saving more money and paying off their debts.
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In fact, WalletHub says that debt payments are at record levels. As a result, credit scores are improving across the country. For example, in July, the national average credit score rose to an all-time high of 711, according to FICO, the developer of one of the most widely used scores by lenders.
The top five cities with the highest median credit scores were, according to WalletHub:
- The Peoples, Florida (807)
- Sun City West, Arizona (789)
- Downtown Sun City, Florida (789)
- Green Valley, Arizona (788)
- Los Altos, California (784)
Meanwhile, the five lowest cities are:
- Camden, NJ (552)
- East St. Louis, Illinois (552)
- Chester, Pennsylvania (552)
- Detroit (560)
- Gary, Indiana (561)
Despite all the good news, experts say the full impact of the pandemic on credit ratings may not be known until government aid ends.
“Serious crime levels remain near record lows,” Matt Komos, vice president of research and consulting for TransUnion, told CNBC recently. “However, the performance of those accounts that are still in accommodation will help shape the true consumer credit landscape.”
The full results of the WalletHub study are available here.