To help taxpayers evaluate their spending and debt habits, the personal-finance website WalletHub published a ranking of residents’ credit scores in more than 2,500 cities nationwide.
WalletHub compared the median credit scores of residents in 2,572 U.S. cities “to give credit where credit is literally and figuratively due,” Adam McCann, financial writer at Wallethub, said.
“Have you ever wondered how well your neighbors, your coworkers or perhaps your local Starbucks barista handle their finances?” McCann asked. “Are they as responsible – or irresponsible – as you are when it comes to paying bills or knowing when to use or refrain from using a credit card?”
Its 2020's Cities with the Highest & Lowest Credit Scores ranked all cities according to TransUnion data as of September 2019.
With 99 being the best percentile and 1 being the worst, 10 California cities ranked in the 99th percentile. Ranking first were Los Altos and Saratoga with a median credit score of 782; Laguna Woods, with a score of 781; Lafayette, with a score of 778; San Carlos and Cupertino each with scores of 775; Danville with a score of 774; Belmont with a score of 770; and Millbrae and Manhattan Beach each with scores of 769.
By comparison, residents in San Bernardino held the lowest score of 631, falling in the fifth percentile. Faring slightly better were residents in Barstow with a median score of 637, Victorville with 639, and Compton with 643 falling in the 7th percentile.
Los Angeles residents fell in the 38th percentile with a median credit score of 675; San Diego residents fell in the 65th percentile with a score of 715; San Francisco residents in the 88th percentile with a score of 748.
Wallethub only included the city proper in its analysis, excluding the suburbs in that city’s surrounding metro area. Each city was categorized by population size with large cities having more than 300,000 people, mid-sized between 100,000 and 300,000 people, and small cities with less than 100,000 people.
The report also includes information from financial experts on how to improve credit scores and access credit reports free of charge.