Greenwood has the lowest average credit score of any metro area examined in the nation, and Gulfport-Biloxi and four other Mississippi metro areas all had average credit scores lower than the national average of 673, according to Experian’s seventh annual State of Credit Report.
At 622, Greenwood was the least creditworthy metro area for the third year. Jackson just missed the bad list at No. 198 of 2,011 metro areas with a 644. Gulfport-Biloxi and Hattiesburg-Laurel were each at 651 for 2016.
Experian, a global credit-management company, said overall credit scores are up, a sign the economy is improving. The report also looks at average, retail and mortgage debt, plus late and overdue payments and the average number of retail cards.
“We are seeing the positive effects of economic recovery, with the rise in income and low unemployment reflected in how Americans are managing their credit,” Michele Raneri of Experian said in a news release. “Credit card balances and average debt are up, while utilization rates remained consistent at 30 percent.”
Though Mississippi metro areas’ scores remain below the national average, they are all higher than they were in 2015.
Experian compiled credit information for 211 metro areas in the nation for 2016. Gulfport-Biloxi’s average credit score ranked 177th on the list. Other details from the State of Credit report for Gulfport-Biloxi:
- Average balance on credit cards: $5,026
- Average debt: $36,301
- Average retail debt: $1,341
- Average mortgage debt: $115,283 (2015)