Not long ago, we posted in this space about how credit card debt burdens Maine’s five largest cities, and how those debt loads compare to thousands of other cities across the country.
That study was performed by the finance site CardHub. The analysis was based on a number of factors, including credit card debt, income and estimated monthly payments.
In a related report, released this week by its sister site, WalletHub, about 2,600 American cities are compared straight up based on the average credit scores of their residents.
While the CardHub rankings involved a bit of speculative math, the WalletHub rankings are a bit more blunt.
(Even if the exact formula credit rating agencies use to derive credit scores is still a bit of a mystery to most people, the results are still widely accepted by banks and creditors as an accurate reflection of how responsible people are when borrowing money.)
There are several different agencies that produce credit scores, and their systems vary somewhat. For this particular report, WalletHub went with TransUnion’s figures. While the scores reported by each of the three major credit rating agencies can differ, and how lenders use them can differ as well, it’s generally safe to say scores around 700 or higher are considered “good,” and the lower you go below that number, the harder time you’ll have getting approved for a loan.
Like the credit card debt rankings done by CardHub, this latest report only goes five cities deep in Maine. Also like in the last report, South Portland residents were determined to be on the most stable financial footing and Bangor residents were found to be on the least.
Here are the five Maine cities included:
- South Portland: 67th percentile of all cities rated, average credit score of 688.31
- Auburn: 48th percentile, 670.39
- Portland: 47th percentile, 669.69
- Lewiston: 39th percentile, 662.63
- Bangor: 38th percentile, 661.58
So, in short, South Portland is among the top two-thirds of cities in terms of credit scores, while the other four Maine cities included were among the bottom half.
For reference, the city with the best average credit score of the 2,570 listed was The Villages, Florida, where folks have an average credit score of 779.51. The Villages is a popular retirement community in the Sunshine State — the median age is 66 — and has been among the fastest growing cities in the country in recent years as Baby Boomers have begun leaving the work force.
Camden, New Jersey, was at the bottom of the ranking with an average credit score of 565.52. Camden, right across the Delaware River from Philadelphia, has among the highest crime rates in the country.