State of Credit 2014

Experian unveiled its fifth annual State of Credit report today, which provides a snapshot of consumers’ credit scores broken out nationally and by local market.

This year’s findings show that the nation’s average VantageScore has improved by two points since last year, coming in at 666. In the city listings, Mankato, MN takes the top spot with a VantageScore of 706 and Greenwood, MS residents have the lowest score of 609 in the study. While the report gives residents of certain cities reason to celebrate their higher scores, the study isn’t meant make the lower cities sing the blues. These types of data-driven insights are meant to help consumers — to give them a reason to be interested in credit, to want to understand and improve their financial well-being, and to become a more savvy credit user and manager.

The study this year not only provides the nation’s credit scores, but also touches on some trends that show lenders and borrowers may both be feeling more confident as the economy is picking up. According to the research, people are carrying more credit cards than last year — both bankcards and retail cards. The average number of bankcards per person is 2.18 and the average number of retail cards per person is 1.54.

The nation’s average debt is also on the rise, coming in at $28,496 per person, which is an increase of 2.3 percent. While more cards and more debt may sound like a dangerous combination, if bills are being paid on time and the credit is being managed well, there’s nothing to be scared of … even with that national credit score of 666.

To find out more about this year’s study, see the news release and visit www.livecreditsmart.com.