Categories

Research

Top 25 U.S. Cities by Credit Score

Residents of different cities love to boast about who has the best baseball team or the most happening nightlife. Now, some residents have another point to brag about: having the best credit score.

In general, American credit scores are on the rise, with the average U.S. consumer FICO® Score* reaching an all-time high of 703 last year. That's up two points from 2018 and 14 points from 2010. The recent uptick reflects a strong economy and a growing awareness among consumers of the importance of monitoring and managing credit scores.

Nearly 6 in 10 Americans have a FICO® Score of 700 or higher, generally considered good by lenders, but some cities have an average score reaching into the top FICO® scoring ranges. As part of our ongoing look at credit scores in the U.S., Experian analyzed consumer credit and raw data from the second quarter of 2019 to see which cities had the best credit scores in the country. All of the top-scoring cities on our list boast average scores in the very good (740-799) or exceptional (800-850) FICO® Score ranges.

The Villages, a retirement community in Florida, took the top spot, with an average FICO® Score of 785. Two cities in California's Bay Area rounded out the top three with average scores of 777 (Los Altos) and 776 (Saratoga). Here's a look at the full list:

1. The Villages, Florida

An active-adult community for residents age 55 and older, The Villages has one of the fastest-growing populations in the country.

Average FICO® Score: 785
Average household income: $70,837
Average total debt: $81,558

2. Los Altos, California

This Silicon Valley city is about a 45-minute drive from San Francisco, and it's among the wealthiest cities in the country.

Average FICO® Score: 777
Average household income: $174,201
Average total debt: $370,651

3. Saratoga, California

Saratoga residents enjoy the benefits of being close to San Jose and San Francisco (good jobs, great cultural amenities), while being in a community that has more of a small-town, residential vibe.

Average FICO® Score: 776
Average household income: $171,047
Average total debt: $350,312

4. Sun City West, Arizona

The second retirement community to crack the top five in this list, Sun City is a 55-plus community near Phoenix.

Average FICO® Score: 771
Average household income: $64,157
Average total debt: $62,654

5. Danville, California

Settled during the California gold rush of the 1800s, Danville is now a thriving suburb of Oakland. Residents here have the highest auto loan balance of any city on this list, owing an average of nearly $24,000.

Average FICO® Score: 770
Average household income: $156,824
Average total debt: $351,812

5. Lexington, Massachusetts

The highest-ranked Northeastern city on this list, Lexington is a suburb of Boston.

Average FICO® Score: 770
Average household income: $146,596
Average total debt: $227,640

5. Needham, Massachusetts

With easy access to Boston, this suburb is primarily a commuter town for residents who want to work in Beantown but not live in it.

Average FICO® Score: 770
Average household income: $151,654
Average total debt: $239,079

5. San Carlos, California

Situated on the San Francisco bay, San Carlos is a Silicon Valley suburb. Residents here have the lowest student loan balance of any place on the list, owing an average of $28,193.

Average FICO® Score: 770
Average household income: $146,596
Average total debt: $327,180

9. Cupertino, California

Best known as the location of Apple Inc. headquarters, Cupertino is home to many tech employees and entrepreneurs. Residents here have the lowest credit card balance ($5,434) of any place on this list.

Average FICO® Score: 769
Average household income: $151,654
Average total debt: $211,844

9. Potomac, Maryland

Residents of this Washington, D.C., suburb have the highest household income of any city on this list.

Average FICO® Score: 769
Average household income: $178,085
Average total debt: $263,740

11. Wilmette, Illinois

Wilmette is a Chicago suburb located on the shores of Lake Michigan.

Average FICO® Score: 768
Average household income: $147,884
Average total debt: $224,585

12. Mercer Island, Washington

Bridges connect this island in Lake Washington to the nearby cities of Seattle and Bellevue, and jobs at the corporate headquarters of big tech companies like Expedia and T-Mobile.

Average FICO® Score: 767
Average household income: $147,927
Average total debt: $272,359

13. Lafayette, California

This Silicon Valley suburb is a 25-minute train ride to San Francisco.

Average FICO® Score: 766
Average household income: $147,592
Average total debt: $314,491

13. Leawood, Kansas

A growing suburb of Kansas City, Missouri, the city of Leawood is one of the wealthiest communities in Kansas.

Average FICO® Score: 766
Average household income: $136,835
Average total debt: $174,386

15. Basking Ridge, New Jersey

While many Basking Ridge residents make the hour-long commute to New York City, there are plenty of jobs in town, too, since it's home to the headquarters of Barnes & Noble Education and Verizon.

Average FICO® Score: 766
Average household income: $152,659
Average total debt: $197,286

16. Brookfield, Wisconsin

Located 15 miles west of Milwaukee, Brookfield is becoming a destination in its own right, with a soon-to-open conference center and some 70,000 visitors a day to its booming hotels.

Average FICO® Score: 765
Average household income: $113,200
Average total debt: $116,867

16. Chevy Chase, Maryland

One of the wealthiest communities in the country, Chevy Chase is a Washington, D.C., suburb

Average FICO® Score: 765
Average household income: $152,656
Average total debt: $251,336

16. Sammamish, Washington

This Seattle suburb is in the heart of Washington's tech community, a short drive from Seattle, Bellevue and Redmond, where Microsoft's corporate headquarters are located.

Average FICO® Score: 765
Average household income: $150,540
Average total debt: $267,294

16. Scarsdale, New York

Scarsdale is a wealthy suburb just outside New York City.

Average FICO® Score: 765
Average household income: $170,529
Average total debt: $254,018

20. Edina, Minnesota

Located just a few minutes from Minneapolis, this wealthy suburb is home to the corporate headquarters of UnitedHealthcare and Dairy Queen.

Average FICO® Score: 764
Average household income: $119,993
Average total debt: $180,610

20. Pittsford, New York

One of just three cities located in New York state on this list, Pittsford is a suburb of Rochester.

Average FICO® Score: 764
Average household income: $120,203
Average total debt: $105,989

22. Garden City, New York

This wealthy suburb located on New York's Long Island makes it easy for commuters with five train stations to take them into New York City.

Average FICO® Score: 763
Average household income: $150,587
Average total debt: $199,807

22. Palo Alto, California

Known as the "Birthplace of Silicon Valley," Palo Alto is home to the headquarters of multiple tech giants, including HP, Tesla and Skype. Residents here are educated, but they also have the highest student debt levels of any place on this list—owing more than $65,000 on average.

Average FICO® Score: 763
Average household income: $153,967
Average total debt: $240,682

24. Manhattan Beach, California

One of two California cities on the list that aren't in the Bay Area, Manhattan Beach is located in coastal Los Angeles county. Residents here have the highest total debt levels of any city on this list.

Average FICO® Score: 762
Average household income: $154,768
Average total debt: $408,645

24. Ranchos Palos Verdes, California

This relatively rural Los Angeles suburb boasts dramatic cliffs and ocean views.

Average FICO® Score: 762
Average household income: $140,149
Average total debt: $241,118

Some Retirees Are Living Their Best Life—in a Fiscally Responsible Way

Two retirement communities—The Villages in Florida and Sun City West in Arizona—landed spots near the top of the list. That may not be as surprising as it seems, as average credit scores tend to increase with age, hitting 700 at an average age of 54 and peaking at age 78. The high scores may reflect retirees' propensity to reduce their debt levels: These residents have the lowest debt levels of any cities on the list, though these also have the lowest average household income of any on the list.

California Cities Dominate the List

One in three cities on this list were situated in California, a state with a high cost of living and low housing affordability rate. Of those, the majority were in the Bay Area near San Francisco and Silicon Valley, where high-paying jobs are plentiful and the economy has been booming for the past decade.

The cities with the best credit scores are primarily wealthy suburbs of larger cities. While they tend to have higher home prices (and associated mortgages), residents also have the incomes and overall financial health to support them.

Methodology: The analysis results provided are based on an Experian-created statistically relevant aggregate sampling of our consumer credit database that may include use of the FICO® Score 8 version. Different sampling parameters may generate different findings compared with other similar analysis. Analyzed credit data did not contain personal identification information. Metro areas group counties and cities into specific geographic areas for population censuses and compilations of related statistical data.

FICO® is a registered trademark of Fair Isaac Corporation in the U.S. and other countries.

Resources