According To New Ranking, Texans Have Terrible Credit, But Why?
According to a new study, Texans have the 4th worst credit scores in the United States with an average score of 680. For reference, credit scores range from 300 to 850, with 300579 being "poor" and 800 or above being "exceptional".
Before we get into the analysis, I want to say that a bad credit score is not the end of the world and that you can fix it. I went from bankruptcy, foreclosure, and abysmal credit to very good credit. It simply takes time and dedication, and I'll give you a few tips later in this article.
First, why did Texas come in so poorly? The metrics on this a pretty cut and dry:
WalletHub compared the average credit scores of residents in each of the 50 states as of October 2023, based on TransUnion data.
I suspect a few things about why we rank so poorly. Texas opted out of the Medicaid expansion leading to more people being uninsured and thus, medical debt. I also think that so much of Texas is rural that some communities lack the same financial opportunities that other people have. I also think we could improve teaching students financial literacy. There's also the fact that people from other states have moved here, raising our cost of living. I imagine it's all these factors and more I'm not thinking of that are causing the problem.
Now, for some tips on how to improve your credit that worked for me. If I can do it, I swear you can. I was a disaster.
If you have a family member who's willing to add you as an "authorized user" to a credit card with a big line of credit- you can see an immediate major bump in your score, even if you never use the card. My parents did this for me, and I couldn't even tell you what that card was or what it looked like because I wasn't allowed to use it. I just immediately benefitted from the bump.
Switch to a credit union if you can. They tend to offer lower interest rates on loans and offer more benefits on your loan. My credit union will let me skip a payment for Christmas, for example.
If you have lines of credit, ask for increases. This will improve your score (just don't rack those cards up!). And always pay on time, no matter what.
Refinance to lower interest rates when you can. I did this on my car, which lowered my payment, so I was able to take the difference and pay down credit cards.
For more tips, read here. You can do it!
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