January 18, 2011 (Shirley Allen)
According to the results of a recent state by state study conducted by Mortgage Marvel, the national credit score average is 735. The study was conducted by analyzing over 340,000 first mortgage applications that also revealed that the state with the highest average was California, with the state of Mississippi having the lowest average credit score of 695.

“These are interesting results,” said Rick Allen, Mortgage Marvel’s Product Manager.  “With all of California’s well-publicized issues with decreasing property values and foreclosures, I would have expected it to be well down the list.  Many Californians have clearly figured out how to weather the financial storms.”

The study found that credit scores in western region and the northeast region had the highest credit scores, while the southwest and the southeast had the lowest credit scores. What causes the variances between the regions?  Income appears to be a factor. Based on data from U.S. Census Bureau from 2008, the western and northeastern markets also have the highest per capita income.

Region Avg. Credit Score Average Per Capita Income
West 747 40,121
Northeast 738 44,037
Midwest 734 38,272
Southeast 726 35,130
Southwest 719 35,381

“When I first looked at the results, I was a bit surprised that the results did not more closely follow the most troubled real estate markets,” observed Allen.  “After we looked closer, however, we found that per capita income levels for 2008 as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau show a similar landscape with the West and Northeast at the top of the list and the Southwest and Southeast at the bottom.  This led us to conclude that there is a closer correlation between the strength of the credit score and the per capita income of the region.”  

 Here’s a list of the ten states with the highest average credit score:

Rank State Region Average Credit Score
1 California West 755
2 Hawaii West 752
3 Connecticut Northeast 751
4 Oregon West 751
5 Wisconsin Midwest 747
6 Minnesota Midwest 745
7 Rhode Island Northeast 745
8 Massachusetts Northeast 744
9 New Hampshire Northeast 744
10 Vermont Northeast 744

 And the 10 states with the lowest average credit scores: 

Rank State Region Average Credit Score
41 Michigan Midwest 716
42 South Carolina Southeast 716
43 Texas Southwest 716
44 Wyoming West 716
45 Oklahoma Southwest 710
46 Louisiana Southeast 709
47 Arkansas Southeast 707
48 Tennessee Southeast 704
49 West Virginia Northeast 700
50 Mississippi Southeast 695

Tags: credit score, highest credit score, lowest credit score