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The Cities With the Lowest Credit Scores in America

Average credit scores are up across the country, even in the cities with the lowest scores. The data comes from Experian’s 2015 State of Credit report, which analyzes consumer credit data in Experian–Oliver Wyman Market Intelligence Reports. According to the report, the average credit score in the U.S. increased from 666 to 669 between the second quarter of 2014 to the same time in 2015. The credit score data uses the VantageScore 3.0 model, which has a scale of 300 to 850.

The majority of cities with the nation’s lowest credit scores are in the South, with three cities in Louisiana alone (more than any other state). While people who live in these areas have the lowest average credit scores, their scores improved, with the exception of the average score in Monroe, La., which stayed the same as last year’s. Experian analyzed the credit score data in more than 100 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), as determined by the Census Bureau.

Here are the 10 areas with the lowest average credit scores (rounded to the nearest whole number).

10. Shreveport, La. — 637

9. Las Vegas, Nev. — 636

8. Alexandria, La. — 636

7. Jackson, Miss. — 635

6. Monroe, La. — 635

5. Laredo, Texas — 633

4. Harlingen, Texas — 628

3. Riverside, Calif. — 624

2. Albany, Ga. — 622

1. Greenwood, Miss. — 612

There are so many factors that directly and indirectly affect consumers’ credit scores, so it’s hard to pinpoint why consumers in certain areas have particularly high or low credit scores. Researchers noted that in all 10 of these cities, consumers’ credit utilization increased over the last year. That means they increased the amount they used of their available credit on their credit cards. After your payment history, credit utilization has the biggest impact on your credit score, and many experts recommend using less than 30% of your available credit. The less you use, the better your score is likely to be. You can keep track of how much of your available credit you use by reviewing your free credit report summary every 30 days on

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