LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Credit scores across Arkansas cities run mainly from average to poor according to a recent study.
Personal finance site WalletHub surveyed residents 2,568 in American cities to find the average credit score in the cities. Arkansas had 26 cities included in the survey, and while a few were in the higher credit range, the majority were in the lower range.
Credit scores run on a 300 to 850 scale, with the higher number being a better score. The score is derived from someone’s bill-paying history, current debt, how much of their available credit they are using and if they have had any bills go to collections or foreclosure.
Companies use someone’s credit score to determine if they are a suitable risk for a loan and what sort of interest rate and credit limit they qualify for.
Generally, credit rankers like Experian consider a credit score over 800 exceptional — and rare — and over 740 is very good. A score above 670 is accepted as good, while a score above 580 is fair. Anything below 580 is considered a poor credit score.
A poor score means higher interest rates and fewer loan options and can even mean fewer job opportunities in some cases.
How do Arkansas cities rank?
Bella Vista residents had the highest average scores in Arkansas cities and the only average in the very good range. Their 757 median credit score put the city at No. 301 on the list.
The community in central Arkansas with the highest score was Sherwood, where the Pulaski County residents saw a 710 average credit score.
Most of central Arkansas was in the center of the list, with Little Rock coming in with an average of 674. This score put residents of the city below the scores of people living in Cabot, Searcy and Conway.
A handful of central Arkansas communities had residents with a score in the fair range, including North Little Rock, Jacksonville and Pine Bluff.
Fort Smith residents had the lowest score in Arkansas, with a poorly rated 536 putting the city near the bottom of the entire list coming in at No. 2,562.
The government’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has tools and instructions to help understand and challenge a credit score.
For a full list of the survey results head to WalletHub.com.