To coincide with the approaching tax season and 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 says.
Its 2020's Cities with the Highest & Lowest Credit Scores ranked all cities according to TransUnion data as of September 2019.
Four New Jersey cities ranked in the bottom: Newark, with a median credit score of 587, followed by New Brunswick’s 577, East Orange’s 577, and Camden’s 552.
With 99 being the best percentile ranking, Camden’s ranked in the 1 percentile and tied for last place with East St. Louis, Ill., and Chester, Penn.
Ranking 10th-worst was East Orange, followed by 11th-worst New Brunswick, and 18th-worst Newark, all falling in the 1 percentile.
Trenton fared slightly better, with its residents holding a median credit score of 601, but also fell in the 1 percentile.
By comparison eight New Jersey cities ranked in the 91st to 97th percentile with scores of 752 and above. The highest New Jersey ranking was Westfield, where residents landed in the 98th percentile with a median credit score of 768. Ridgewood followed in the 97th percentile with a score of 764; Princeton in the 96th percentile with a score of 761; Paramus in the 95th percentile with a score of 760; Fair Lawn in the 92nd percentile with a score of 754; Summit in the 91st percentile with a score of 752; and Hoboken and Flemington in the 91st percentile, each with scores of 752.
Wallethub only included the city proper in its analysis, excluding the suburbs in each 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.