10 States Where Consumers With Mortgages Have the Highest, Lowest Credit Scores

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The average FICO® Score in the U.S. climbed to a record high of 710 in 2020. And while credit scores vary greatly by state, homeowners in every state had higher credit scores on average compared with the national average.

As part of our ongoing look at debt in the U.S., Experian analyzed consumer credit data from August 2021 to see where homeowners with mortgages had the highest and lowest FICO® Scores. Our analysis looked at all 50 states and Washington, D.C., to explore how FICO® Scores differed across the population.

Hawaii took the top credit score spot, with an average FICO® Score of 772 for those with a mortgage. Georgia, Kentucky and Tennessee were on the lower end, with average FICO® Scores of 745.

When looking at mortgage balances, the lowest average mortgage balances were found in West Virginia ($118,743) and Mississippi ($130,286). Washington, D.C. ($461,555) and California ($391,638) were the places with the highest average mortgage balances.

Read on for our insights and analysis.

States With the Highest Credit Scores for Consumers With a Mortgage

1. Hawaii

Dubbed as one of the best places to live in the U.S., Hawaii is a tropical paradise that attracts tourists and permanent residents alike.

  • Average FICO® Score for consumers with a mortgage: 772
  • Average mortgage balance: $362,947
  • Average income: $60,807

2. Minnesota

Minnesota offers an assortment of outdoor adventures for residents to indulge in. Proximity to over 10,000 lakes adds to the appeal Minnesota has for homeowners.

  • Average FICO® Score for consumers with a mortgage: 771
  • Average mortgage balance: $190,516
  • Average income: $64,674

3. Oregon

Oregon is home to an impressive lineup of waterfalls, hiking and food trails, historic sites and other natural wonders that make it an attractive place to live. The average income in Oregon is second only to Wisconsin among the states on this list.

  • Average FICO® Score for consumers with a mortgage: 770
  • Average mortgage balance: $251,687
  • Average income: $58,544

4. Washington, D.C.

While average income in Washington, D.C., is higher than that of any other state in this list, the national capital is one of the most expensive places to live in the nation. Still, its picturesque views, diverse population and bustling city life make it a popular destination for homebuyers.

  • Average FICO® Score for consumers with a mortgage: 769
  • Average mortgage balance: $461,555
  • Average income: $90,043

5. Washington

Also known as the Evergreen State, Washington isn't the cheapest place to live. But its reputation as a budding hub for technology business and innovation is appealing to many homebuyers.

  • Average FICO® Score for consumers with a mortgage: 768
  • Average mortgage balance: $300,489
  • Average income: $70,441

6. California

The Golden State of California is known for its vibrant aura, but homeownership comes at a steep price. The average mortgage balance in this state is second only to Washington, D.C.

  • Average FICO® Score for consumers with a mortgage: 767
  • Average mortgage balance: $391,638
  • Average income: $74,304

7. Massachusetts

Massachusetts is known for its delectable seafood, fanatic sports culture and warm summers. The average income in Massachusetts is higher than any other state on this list besides Washington, D.C. Massachusetts' average mortgage balance ranks third among the states in this list, but second-ranked California eclipses this average by more than $100,000.

  • Average FICO® Score for consumers with a mortgage: 767
  • Average mortgage balance: $274,618
  • Average income: $81,995

8. Wisconsin

America's Dairyland is one of the more affordable places to live in the U.S. Wisconsin has the lowest average mortgage balance and income of any state on this list.

  • Average FICO® Score for consumers with a mortgage: 767
  • Average mortgage balance: $151,053
  • Average income: $57,360

9. New Hampshire

New Hampshire is a small state with many easily accessible outdoor recreation sites, like beaches, ski mountains and hiking trails.

  • Average FICO® Score for consumers with a mortgage: 765
  • Average mortgage balance: $195,210
  • Average income: $68,126

10. Vermont

Vermont is another small state with affordable housing and is home to attractions and destinations residents can enjoy, regardless of the season. Among the states on this list, only Wisconsin has a lower average mortgage balance.

  • Average FICO® Score for consumers with a mortgage: 765
  • Average mortgage balance: $159,231
  • Average income: $60,396

States With the Lowest Credit Scores for Consumers With a Mortgage

1. Mississippi

There are many unique sites to see in Mississippi, which also happens to be the most affordable state to live in, according to a U.S. News and World Report analysis.

  • Average FICO® Score for consumers with a mortgage: 728
  • Average mortgage balance: $130,286
  • Average income: $44,128

2. Louisiana

Residents get a taste of unrivaled culture and unique eats in the Bayou State, and housing costs are some of the lowest in the nation.

  • Average FICO® Score for consumers with a mortgage: 734
  • Average mortgage balance: $162,197
  • Average income: $53,281

3. West Virginia

Leading companies in the aerospace, agriculture, automotive, chemical, wood manufacturing, defense, energy, information technology and manufacturing sectors call the Mountain State home.

  • Average FICO® Score for consumers with a mortgage: 737
  • Average mortgage balance: $118,743
  • Average income: $46,343

4. Texas

Texas has a higher average income than any other state in this ranking.

  • Average FICO® Score for consumers with a mortgage: 738
  • Average mortgage balance: $198,694
  • Average income: $57,794

5. Arkansas

Along with affordable housing, Arkansas offers many recreational activities, distinct shopping experiences and unique eats.

  • Average FICO® Score for consumers with a mortgage: 739
  • Average mortgage balance: $140,541
  • Average income: $49,079

6. Oklahoma

Oklahoma offers reasonably priced homes and beautiful landscapes without the crowds.

  • Average FICO® Score for consumers with a mortgage: 739
  • Average mortgage balance: $146,864
  • Average income: $51,564

7. Alabama

Alabama is known for its Southern hospitality, and it's home to many landmarks that played a pivotal role in the Civil Rights Movement. Consumers with a mortgage in this state are just on the threshold of having a "very good" FICO® Score (740-799).

  • Average FICO® Score for consumers with a mortgage: 740
  • Average mortgage balance: $152,988
  • Average income: $48,133

8. Georgia

Home to the bustling city of Atlanta, Georgia is a charming Southern state with relatively low housing costs.

  • Average FICO® Score for consumers with a mortgage: 745
  • Average mortgage balance: $190,667
  • Average income: $54,442

9. Kentucky

The Bluegrass State is home to Ford and Toyota assembly plants and the major city of Louisville. Nashville, Tennessee, and Cincinnati, Ohio, are nearby to offer scenic views, culture and outdoor adventures.

  • Average FICO® Score for consumers with a mortgage: 745
  • Average mortgage balance: $135,281
  • Average income: $49,259

10. Tennessee

Tennessee is another state with affordable housing, and it's ideal for nature lovers and music enthusiasts.

  • Average FICO® Score for consumers with a mortgage: 745
  • Average mortgage balance: $176,842
  • Average income: $53,340

Southern States Have Lower Mortgage Balances and Lower Average Credit Scores

The states where homeowners have the lowest credit scores are all located in the South. Mississippi is at the top of the list with an average score of 728, followed by Louisiana at 734. There's also a correlation between mortgage balances and credit scores. Generally, the states with lower credit scores had significantly lower mortgage balances than those with higher credit scores, except for Tennessee, Georgia and Texas.

States With Higher Mortgage Balances Have Higher Credit Scores

Overall, the states where consumers with mortgages have the highest credit scores are in the northern parts of the U.S. The outstanding mortgage balances are generally greater than what you'll find in states where the average credit score is lower, and the average income is also higher to support a steeper cost of living.

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