Gazett-Mail Real Estate - Articles
Charleston Credit Card Debt Improving
By Sally Deneen
Charleston has slipped in rankings among U.S. cities with the best average credit scores, but overall credit card debt is improving, according to credit reporting company Experian.
Charleston placed 109th, down from 103rd, among cities with the best average credit scores.
Residents here – as well as in Jacksonville, Fla., and Albuquerque, N.M. – have an average Experian VantageScore credit score of 729, according to the company's "State of Credit" report. That's below the national average, which Experian says crept upward from 2011 to 2012 to reach 750.
Minneapolis ranks first nationally. The Minnesota city's average Experian credit score is 787. Harlingen, Texas, ranks last with a score of 688.
If these scores sound inflated, there's a reason. A VantageScore of 990 is perfect. It differs from the familiar FICO score, whose top score is 850, explains the CreditCardForum, which states VantageScore ratings in the 700s are akin to getting a "C" in school.
On the bright side, Charleston residents' individual credit card debt has dipped slightly. It improved to an average of $23,602 as of 2012, the Experian report states. That's a better showing than the national average.
The national average credit card debt grew by 1.4 percent from 2011 to 2012 to reach $24,890, Experian's report stated. Americans overall also relied on their credit cards more, leaving an average of only 70.51 percent of their credit available.
Curious about your credit score? Make sure to obtain it from a free source. According to the FTC, only one website is authorized to fill orders for the free annual credit report that individuals are entitled to under law – annualcreditreport.com.
"Other websites that claim to offer 'free credit reports,' 'free credit scores,' or 'free credit monitoring' are not part of the legally mandated free annual credit report program. In some cases, the 'free' product comes with strings attached," the FTC stated.