Americans averaged less than one late payment (0.38 to be exact) per billing cycle on their credit card, auto, mortgage, student loan and retail card payments in 2017. That may seem pretty low (and it is), however, it's not quite as low as it was the year before.
Learn more about the numbers: See all complete breakdown of 2017 State of Credit.
Late payments per billing cycle were up 3% in 2017 vs. the prior year, however many cities are doing really well.
The Bay Area Averages the Fewest Late Payments
San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose, CA ranked as the area with the lowest average of late payment in 2017. Those cities saw their late payment average improve by 15% versus 2016. From there Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-San Luis Obispo, CA, Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN, Bend, OR and Boston, MA, all tied with the second lowest average late payments of .20.
All the cities that ranked in the top 10 for having the lower average of late payments also had average credit scores above the national average and five of the cities had an average VantageScore above 700.
|Top Cities that Average the Fewest Late Payments|
|Rank||City||Late Payments Per Billing Cycle||YoY Change|
|1||San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, CA||0.17||-15%|
|2||Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-San Luis Obispo, CA||0.20||-62%|
|3||Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN||0.20||-23%|
|5||Boston (Manchester), MA||0.20||0%|
|10||Sioux Falls(Mitchell), SD||0.21||-46%|
The Cities Whose Late Payment Averages Improved
The list of most improved cities when it comes to late payments is comprised of locales in the west and midwest. Seattle-Tacoma's record improved by 65%. Monterey-Salinas, CA, Santa Barbara - Santa Maria - San Luis Obispo, CA, Honolulu, HI And Twin Falls, ID all had the next highest improvements.
|Top Cities that Improved their Late Payment Average|
|3||Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-San Luis Obispo, MN||-62%|
|5||Twin Falls, ID||-53%|
|8||Rochester-Mason City-Austin, IA||-51%|
|9||Medford-Klamath Falls, OR||-51%|
|10||North Platte, NE||-47%|
If late payments become a pattern for you, remember that lenders will take note as do the credit bureaus. The more recent the late payment, the more it will hurt your credit scores. Paying your bills on time is one of the best ways to positively impact your credit scores.
Check out more: The Cities With the Most Late Payments
Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, or other company, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. All information, including rates and fees, are accurate as of the date of publication.