Las Vegas shines bright – except when it comes to credit scores

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Las Vegas shines bright – except when it comes to credit scores

When the average person thinks of Las Vegas, they may think of the brightly-lit ‘Vegas strip, winning fortunes at the casinos, and partying with models by the pool. Of course, we know that the reality of living in Sin City – or the Silver State – rarely matches that tourist fantasy. One thing that Las Vegas residents AREN’T known for are good credit scores.

In fact, Las Vegas and Nevada are home to some of the worst average credit scores in the country. A study by the financial website WalletHub found that the average FICO score in Las Vegas is only 632.83.

If you’re asking, “Is that good?” then you may be one of those that sorely needs a little credit score help, as scores go up to 850 and above 700 is considered good.

That average 632.83 FICO ranks Las Vegas in the bottom 9th percentile (so lowest 91 percent) of all 2,570 cities in the U.S. that were polled in the study.

Of course, what we commonly call “Las Vegas” encompassed more than one county, (the lion’s share of the population in Nevada also sits in Clark County, so we can further ascertain that Northern Las Vegas has even more dismal credit scores, with an average FICO of only 623.53, or just the 5th percentile in the nation.

In fact, Northern Nevadan’s finances are some of the worst in the U.S., with a median 632 credit score. They also sit only 30th percentile for the rate of average debt-to-income ratio in the country when it comes to mortgages, credit cards, auto loans, and student loan balances, putting them at 1,792 out of 2,572 cities in the U.S.

Henderson, NV has a more promising credit situation, with an average FICO of 669.78, which is good for 47th percentile – or, near the U.S. median.

By the way, if you’re wondering who has the highest credit score in the nation of any city, it’s The Villages in Florida, with an average score of 779.51 among the well-off retirement residents. Camden, New Jersey holds the dubious honor as the city in the U.S. with the worst credit scores, as residents there have an abysmal average 565.62 score.

WalletHub has actually ranked cities for a variety of financial factors in various studies, and Las Vegas still does not bode well.

Financial literacy in Nevada is ranked second from last out of every state in the entire U.S., save for only Mississippi.

Likewise, Nevada has the highest percentage of residents in the U.S. that:

• Spend more money than they make.
• Amass the least savings.
• Pay only minimum balances on their credit cards.
• Utilize payday loans, check cashing services, and other shady lending practices.

Las Vegas also ranks unfavorably for:

• Rate of real estate foreclosures.
• Unemployment levels.
• Rates of homes underwater in equity.

However, there may be a small glimmer of hope for Las Vegas and Nevada in an otherwise murky financial landscape. The credit reporting agency Experian published a report late last year that showed marginal improvement for Las Vegas credit scores. According to Experian, Las Vegas jumped ten spots from its previous ranking to 193rd national last year (out of 200 cities), as ‘Vegas consumers saw their scores increase from 636 to 645 over the last 365 days plus.

That average score for the city is good enough to rank Las Vegas outside of the worst ten cities in the nation in Experian’s annual State of Credit white paper. In other encouraging news, Experian reported that the percentage of missed payments and serious delinquencies in Las Vegas dropped from 49 percent to 45 percent over the last year, and use of revolving credit card debt stayed level at 34 percent.

According to Experian, the average U.S. credit score hit 669, still seven points off from the pre-Recession average score of 689.

There is still a lot of work that needs to be done when it comes to credit scores and credit reporting in Las Vegas. Nevada and Las Vegas residents should focus on improving their credit scores to the point that they’re at least average for the U.S. For that reason, Blue Water Credit is committed to providing Las Vegas credit repair services that are the best you’ll find anywhere, as well as credit score education, resources, and help.

Just contact us if you have any questions about improving your credit score!

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