LA CROSSE, WI (WXOW)— The Midwest has some of the highest credit scores in the country according to the Experian State of Credit Report.
Experian looked at the first six months of 2012 and found the average U.S. consumer credit score is 750, up one point from last year.
Six of the top ten cities on the highest credit score list are in Minnesota and Wisconsin; La Crosse is number 8 on the list with an average credit score of 779.
"You know why?" Wayne Oliver, Senior Vice President of Community Banking, State Bank said. "Because we're conservative and our people are pretty deliberate in making up their minds before they spend money and when they take on an obligation they keep it."
Just like you need job references, your credit report is your credit reference.
"You need good credit references because when you want to apply for new services, that's the tool lenders will use to help them make that decision," Maxine Sweet, Vice President of Public Education, Experian said.
Managing your credit wisely is an individual effort, but Sweet said, in the Midwest we have a good setting to do that.
"Your unemployment is much lower than the national average, you have lower foreclosures," she said.
The national unemployment rate was 8.3-percent in July, La Crosse's was 5.8 percent.
Unemployed or not the key to a good credit score is not living beyond your means.
"Consumers who are charged to the max on their credit cards or charged to the limits are typically spending more than they can afford and that's a sign of high risk," Sweet said.
"At the end of the day you really should try as hard as you can to pay those balances off," Oliver said. "We're in the business of lending for reasonable things. But it doesn't do anybody any good if young people or any person gets in trouble with their credit cards."
Any trouble you may get into, credit wise, will be reflected on your credit history for seven years.
To view the full Experian State of Credit report click here.
To view Experian's interactive credit map click here.
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