Personal Finance

10 Cities That Survived the Credit Crunch

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While credit scores overall in the U.S. are down 0.6% since 2007, some cities have been working hard on their credit, despite the recession.

Those cities have survived the credit crunch, coming out on the other side with an average credit score that is actually better than it was pre-recession.

The Experian 2012 State of Credit report, which tracks a number of metrics like average debt, credit scores and household income in major metro areas across the U.S., is the source of our analysis.

Our list of cities that survived the credit crunch shows a number of trends. First off, Texas has a lot of growth happening in several major metro areas. While average credit scores vary across the state — Austin stands at 746, while El Paso comes in at 710 — there are four Texas towns on our list of cities showing credit score improvement.

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Check Your Credit For Free“Dallas and Tyler were both Texas cities that moved the needle in the positive direction this year,” says Rod Griffin, director of public education for Experian. ”Tyler’s residents improved their credit scores by reducing debt and decreasing utilization and Dallas residents had fewer late payments combined with their decrease in utilization.”

While we ranked the cities by credit score change since 2007, we also included some more data from the State of Credit report, including the average percentage of credit available, which signifies the total available credit amount on an open revolving account like a credit card. The amount of credit you use can have a major impact on your credit score. Don’t forget to check your own Credit Report Card to see a free credit score and advice as to how you can improve your chances of snagging a loan or credit card.

9. Columbia, S.C. (TIE)

  • Credit Score Change Since 2007: 0.5%
  • Average Credit Score in 2012: 717
  • Average % Credit Available: 67.37%

9. Champaign-Springfield-Decatur, Ill. (TIE)

  • Credit Score Change Since 2007: 0.5%
  • Average Credit Score in 2012: 756
  • Average % Credit Available: 72.92%

8. El Paso, Texas

  • Credit Score Change Since 2007: 0.55%
  • Average Credit Score in 2012: 710
  • Average % Credit Available: 65.9%

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7. Shreveport, La.

  • Credit Score Change Since 2007: 0.59%
  • Average Credit Score in 2012: 708
  • Average % Credit Available: 69.97%

6. Tyler-Longview, Texas

  • Credit Score Change Since 2007: 0.66%
  • Average Credit Score in 2012: 715
  • Average % Credit Available: 70.54%

5. Austin, Texas

  • Credit Score Change Since 2007: 0.73%
  • Average Credit Score in 2012: 746
  • Average % Credit Available: 70.33%

4. Omaha, Neb.

  • Credit Score Change Since 2007: 0.89%
  • Average Credit Score in 2012: 769
  • Average % Credit Available: 73.89%

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3. Waco-Temple-Bryan, Texas

  • Credit Score Change Since 2007: 0.9%
  • Average Credit Score in 2012: 715
  • Average % Credit Available: 67.36%

2. Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas

  • Credit Score Change Since 2007: 0.99%
  • Average Credit Score in 2012: 727
  • Average % Credit Available: 69.34%

1. Sioux Falls, S.D.

  • Credit Score Change Since 2007: 1.33%
  • Average Credit Score in 2012: 784
  • Average % Credit Available: 75.84%

Image: Jerry7171, via Flickr

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