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Why Are Credit Scores So Wicked High in Boston?

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Most major U.S. cities battle over who has the better sports team, the best atmosphere, the superior food and so on. When it comes to personal finances, Boston has some bragging rights.

Boston metro-area residents possessed the highest average credit score when compared to some the largest metro areas in the country, according to a third quarter report from Experian. Its average score of 705 (on the VantageScore 3.0 scale of 300 to 850) beat out the average credit scores of the five metro areas larger than its own (New York, 693; Los Angeles, 674; Chicago, 687; Washington, 691; and San Francisco Bay, 700), as well as the Philadelphia (687), Dallas-Fort Worth (665), Miami-Fort Lauderdale (659) and Houston (666) metro areas. Boston, with an estimated 2012 metropolitan population of 7,991,371, is No. 6 on that list.

Credit scores trend higher in the Northeast, while the South tends to have the lowest average credit scores. In fact, Massachusetts had one of the highest average credit scores of all states last quarter: 775 on the older VantageScore scale, which ranges from 501 to 990.

The average Bostonian had a debt load of $27,585, which is higher than the averages in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Miami/Fort Lauderdale. Those in the Washington area carried the highest debt load, at an average of $30,444 per person.

If you want to know where you stand compared to the average credit score, debt load and credit utilization, check your free Credit Report Card, which also gives you credit scores for free.

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