What's the Score?

Physician's Money Digest, July31 2004, Volume 11, Issue 14

According to a recent survey by Experian, one of the Big Three creditbureaus, the national average credit score is 678, but there are significant differencesby city. Residents of Minneapolis, Minn, with an average score of 707, andBoston, Mass, with an average of 705, are obviously in better credit shape thanthe citizens of Orlando, Fla, where the average credit score stands at 671. Otherareas with better-than-average credit scores are Seattle, Wash; Chicago, Ill; andWashington, DC. Credit scores can range from 330 to 850, with about 20% of thepopulation falling below the 620 mark. Lenders may use different cutoff points indeciding whether to offer a loan applicant a lower interest rate, but in general, thehigher your credit score, the better interest-rate deal you can bargain for whenyou buy a car or apply for a mortgage.