Can't Get a Loan? Check Your Address: The Best and Worst States for Credit

Credit CardCredit is ever so personal, and ultimately it's your responsibility -- but maybe this time, it's not solely about you. Where you live matters: Your state's creditworthiness can impact you too.

For that reason,'s recently released rankings of the 10 Best and Worst States for Consumer Credit is worth a look-see.

How does your state measure up?

Breaking Down the Details

To figure out which states deserved kudos and which got thumbs down, analyzed indicators directly related to individual credit usage and repayment behavior, such as average credit score, credit card delinquency rates and home foreclosure rates. It also charted big picture factors like unemployment and personal bankruptcy issues. The five criteria included: average credit score (Experian, June 2011); foreclosure rates (RealtyTrac, May 2011); credit card delinquency rates (TransUnion, Q1 2011); unemployment rates (Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2011), and bankruptcy rates (American Bankruptcy Institute, Q1 2011).

What's the 411 on the top 10? "Low unemployment rates seem to be a common thread," says Curtis Arnold, founder of No surprise here, as foreclosure and delinquency rates tend to historically mirror unemployment rates." As for top dog North Dakota, "the financial health of this state has largely flown under the radar, and N.D. is obviously a best kept secret," he says.

The bottom dwellers, by contrast, share high bankruptcy and/or foreclosure rates. The causes vary, but the end results are similar and all are financially devastating, says Arnold.

Which state was the most surprising to find in the lowest tier? "Idaho," says Arnold. "I think many people would assume that Idaho is fairly conservative when it comes to lifestyle and spending issues."

"I think the implications for everyone in the states listed [in the bottom tier] is significant, regardless of whether you personally have good or bad credit," says Arnold.

If you have the misfortune of living in a state with less than stellar credit, realize that this could mean that lenders on your home turf are ailing, which therefore may limit the type and quality of financial services available to you.

Secondly, financial institutions outside your state may look askance at you if you live in a place where people have a poor track record of making timely payments. Truth is, even if you've been a good credit citizen, if you live in a place where your neighbors have committed all sorts of credit sins, it can touch you too. "Lenders may have stronger underwriting standards in states in the "Worst Of" list or vice versa. Like it or not, this can affect the availability of credit for all residents," says Arnold.

If you're in a low ranking state, there only one thing you can do -- other than saying adios. "Be a proponent for financial literacy in your area," says Arnold. "This can and does make a difference over time."

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A loan is a financial transaction in which one party - the lender - agrees to give another party - the borrower a specific amount of money which must be paid back in full.

November 28 2013 at 1:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I thought all the states were going to have bad credit soon.

July 26 2011 at 7:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I was having money problems and found some other places to get a loan

July 26 2011 at 8:19 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

There are lenders granting loans, I love these articles.

July 26 2011 at 8:07 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Lenders often define “no-cost” refinancing differently, so be sure to ask about the specific terms offered by each lender. Basically, there are two ways to avoid paying up-front fees. The first is an arrangement in which the lender covers the closing costs, but charges you a higher interest rate. You will pay this higher rate for the life of the loan. You can read more at "123 Refinance" to learn all the ways

July 26 2011 at 5:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kevin Luwis

Well, that is really a big news for all the person whom are using the credit cards. Just discuss with the business manager/owner you will be overwhelmed by the favorable acceptance and even gratitude you will get

HTC Sensation 4G

July 26 2011 at 1:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It's difficult to believe that people are still trying to use their "little plastic cards" to pay twice for their "stuff", so that they can keep all of the bank CEO's living in the way that they are accustomed, by high interest rates, and keeping the "rich" much richer. Get it? . . . . . . .

July 25 2011 at 3:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I AM GLAD I AM NEITHER ONE....................................................................................................................

July 25 2011 at 3:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jimmy jimbo

Winehouse is NO loss to anyone or thing--except perhaps her family. She was a LOSER!!!!!

July 25 2011 at 1:22 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to jimmy jimbo's comment

Wow, you are without a doubt the biggest piece of **** to post such vitrol. You "Jimbo" are the loser.

July 26 2011 at 2:58 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

you are a clueless loser. she was a genius with a terrible addiction you jerk

July 27 2011 at 12:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

the banking system is own by the Feds now. Might as well do business with the IRS

July 25 2011 at 11:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply