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Cold States Win: Credit Scores By State

Cold Winters = Higher Scores?

credit freeze

Sound like a plan to move to a warmer climate? It might, especially after a hard freeze, but before you move consider what might happen to your credit score.

Credit scores are the measure of a consumer's borrowing risk and are used to determine interest rates, loan terms, ever whether or not cell phone companies let you get the latest plan. In other words, this number is important!

What do the scores of average consumers look like? The states with cold winters make up the bulk of the top 10 states with the highest average credit score.

Top Ten States


With a historical average temperature of 7.94 in January, Minnesota tops the list with the highest average consumer credit score of 718. North Dakota comes in a close second, with a January temperature colder than Minnesota at 7.90 degrees but average scores of 715. Downright balmy at 16.11 degrees in January, South Dakota consumers come in with a score of 714.

Trailing the top three are some other places that are undeniably brisk in winter. In the northeast, Vermont comes in at fourth 16.41 degrees and scores of 712, New Hampshire, with 18.17 degree average follows at 711 score. Next is Massachusetts, 24.87 degrees in January and a 710 score.

Out West is Montana averaging a chilly 18.37 in January and credit scores of 709. They were followed by Iowa (17.84 degrees) with scores of 708 and Nebraska (22.73 degrees) with 708. Rounding out the top 10 is leading cheese producer Wisconsin. Dairy country averages 13.18 degrees in winter and state resident’s average 707 on their credit.

It's not likely the desert heat you can experience in parts of Nevada that dragged that state to the bottom of the list, but it does provide an interesting contrast to all those cold places that scored well.


Southern Charm

Nevada, think real estate bubble 9.5 percent unemployment, has good reasons for the lowest scores in the country, as does Texas, with an average score of 667.

Just a hair ahead is Mississippi (668), along with Georgia and Louisiana. They tied at 670.

Southern states were clearly the laggards in Experian's nationwide report.

National Average Credit Score?

American consumers average 687 using Experian's Plus model (slightly different scale than FICO scores)


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