The States With The Worst (And Best) Credit Scores

By Kathy Morris - Aug. 5, 2020

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The average credit score in the United States hovers around 680.

A credit score shy of 680 is considered fair, and means most Americans have reasonably decent credit. A good credit score is important because it secures loans and credit cards with reasonable interest rates. A poor credit score can leave necessary purchases out of reach, or trap consumers in a cycle of debt.

However, a strong credit score is more than just about loans or how much your Amex bill is. For better or worse, credit scores are also used to measure how reliably you pay your bills. Poor credit can keep you from renting a place and even securing a job in some cases.

However, not all states have the same financial stability. We found the average credit score in each state, to highlight the states in dire need of some credit repair and which states are saving huge when it comes to interest rates.

The States With The Worst Credit Scores

  1. Mississippi
  2. Louisiana
  3. Alabama
  4. Georgia
  5. Nevada
  6. Oklahoma
  7. Arkansas
  8. South Carolina
  9. West Virginia
  10. New Mexico

Notice a trend? Southern states have a credit problem. 6 Southern states make have some of the worst credit scores in the nation. Throw in three southwestern states and it’s easy to see some regions as a whole are stuck with larger interest payments– or without access to credit at all.

How We Determined This

The average credit score in each state comes from Experian. This credit score is the VantageScore and not as in depth as an official credit report. Sadly, Texas is excluded from this list and our rankings.

Keep reading to see a highlight of the states with the worst credit scores in the nation, or jump to the bottom to see where all 50 states stand.

1. Mississippi

mississippi class=

Average VantageScore: 647
Average Credit Card Balance: $5,421

Mississippi is used to being the worst state in the nation for a CVS receipt length list of dubious honors. Mississippi can now add “worst credit score” to the list. Unfortunately, that means folks in Mississippi on average have a credit score of 647.

2. Louisiana

louisiana class=

Average VantageScore: 650
Average Credit Card Balance: $6,074

Louisiana has the 2nd lowest credit scores on average in the nation. Why are credit scores so low? It might have something to do with the high average credit debt of $6,074. Combine that with the low median income in Louisiana and it’s easy to see some folks in the Bayou state could do with putting down the plastic.

3. Alabama

alabama class=

Average VantageScore: 654
Average Credit Card Balance: $5,961

Alabama residents have the third lowest credit score in the nation, a paltry 654. Residents on the low side will find themselves paying more in interest every payment and getting less advantageous loans.

3. Georgia

georgia class=

Average VantageScore: 654
Average Credit Card Balance: $6,675

In addition to the third lowest credit scores, Georgia has the 9th highest credit card debt in the nation. That is an unpleasant financial combination.

5. Nevada

nevada class=

Average VantageScore: 655
Average Credit Card Balance: $6,401

Nevada is home to Las Vegas, the gambling and entertainment capital of the US. Judging from the credit score, people might need to gamble a little less- and work on building their credit score instead.

6. Oklahoma

oklahoma class=

Average VantageScore: 656
Average Credit Card Balance: $6,296

In 6th place is Oklahoma. Oklahoma residents have an average 656 credit score and $6,296 of credit card debt.

7. Arkansas

arkansas class=

Average VantageScore: 657
Average Credit Card Balance: $5,660

While Arkansas has comparatively low credit card debt, their overall credit situation could still use some work.

8. South Carolina

south carolina class=

Average VantageScore: 657
Average Credit Card Balance: $6,157

South Carolina is the 6th southern state to make our list. South Carolina residents, on average, have a credit score of 657.

9. West Virginia

west virginia class=

Average VantageScore: 658
Average Credit Card Balance: $5,547

In 9th place is West Virginia. West Virginian residents have an average 658 credit score and $5,547 of credit card debt.

10. New Mexico

new mexico class=

Average VantageScore: 659
Average Credit Card Balance: $6,317

Rounding out our list in 10th place is New Mexico. Residents of this southwestern state on average have a credit score of 659.

Your Credit Score Matters

Your credit score can make a big difference in your access to loans, credit, and the interest rate you pay for receiving them. Ultimately, folks in the ten states above on average are dealing with weaker credit scores. Where in the nation are the highest credit scores found? In Minnesota.

However, these are averages. Many people in Mississippi have superb credit and some in Minnesota no doubt have horrible credit. Regardless of your state credit, you can take positive individual steps to improve or maintain your credit score.

After all, poor credit can cost you thousands in interest, living opportunities, and might even just keep you from your dream job.

You can see our full list of all states except Texas below.

States With The Best And Worst Credit Scores

Rank State Average Vantagescore Average Credit Card Balance
1 Mississippi 647 $5,421
2 Louisiana 650 $6,074
3 Alabama 654 $5,961
3 Georgia 654 $6,675
5 Nevada 655 $6,401
6 Oklahoma 656 $6,296
7 Arkansas 657 $5,660
7 South Carolina 657 $6,157
9 West Virginia 658 $5,547
10 New Mexico 659 $6,317
11 Tennessee 662 $5,975
12 Kentucky 663 $5,555
13 Indiana 667 $5,581
14 Alaska 668 $8,516
14 Florida 668 $6,388
16 Arizona 669 $6,389
17 District of Columbia 670 $6,963
18 Delaware 672 $6,336
18 Maryland 672 $7,043
20 Missouri 675 $5,897
21 Michigan 677 $5,622
22 Ohio 678 $5,843
22 Wyoming 678 $6,245
24 California 680 $6,481
24 Kansas 680 $6,082
24 Virginia 680 $7,161
27 Idaho 681 $5,817
28 Illinois 683 $6,410
28 Utah 683 $5,960
30 New Jersey 686 $7,151
30 North Carolina 686 $6,117
32 Pennsylvania 687 $6,146
32 Rhode Island 687 $6,375
34 Colorado 688 $6,718
34 New York 688 $6,671
34 Oregon 688 $6,012
37 Maine 689 $5,784
37 Montana 689 $5,845
39 Connecticut 690 $7,258
40 Hawaii 693 $6,981
40 Washington 693 $6,592
42 Iowa 695 $5,155
42 Nebraska 695 $5,630
44 Wisconsin 696 $5,363
45 North Dakota 697 $5,511
46 Massachusetts 699 $6,327
47 South Dakota 700 $5,692
48 New Hampshire 701 $6,490
49 Vermont 702 $5,924
50 Minnesota 709 $5,911

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Author

Kathy Morris

Kathy is the head of content at Zippia with a knack for engaging audiences. Prior to joining Zippia, Kathy worked at Gateway Blend growing audiences across diverse brands. She graduated from Troy University with a degree in Social Science Education.

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