Comparing Average Credit Scores by State

May 18, 2011

This interactive graphic will show you how your credit score compares on average to others in your state, along with what median home prices are going for in your local metropolitan area.

Physician’s Money Digest blogger Shirley Mueller, MD, recently discussed why now might be the perfect time to consider buying a home to rent. With interest rates still near rock-bottom -- and the housing market already there -- it’s an attractive market for homebuyers.

Lenders are writing more mortgage loans these days, though only those with the highest credit scores are likely to get the best terms. Fair Isaac Corp., the credit-monitoring company that devised the FICO credit score most mortgage lenders use to determine credit-worthiness, has said the median credit score in the U.S. is 723, so scores above that number should qualify for better rates. (“Should” being the operative word, there are a number of factors that influence lenders’ decision-making and credit scores are only one of them.) Generally, if your score is approaching or more than 800, you’ll qualify for the lowest rates.

Before you start shopping mortgages, check your credit score to ensure there are no errors or fraudulent entries that may ding your score. You can access your FICO score through a free trial membership here, but if you don’t cancel the subscription within the 10-day trial period you’ll be charged $14.95 a month thereafter until you cancel.

This interactive graphic from credit-management website CreditSesame.com will not only show you how your score compares to others in your state, but what median home prices are going for in your local metropolitan area. States with the highest average FICO credit scores include: Minnesota (721); North and South Dakota (719); Vermont (716); and Iowa, New Hampshire and Montana (714). States with the lowest average credit scores were: Nevada (668); Texas (670); Mississippi (672); and Louisiana and South Carolina (674).