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San Francisco has the highest credit scores

Staff writer |
San Francisco-area residents have the highest credit scores of any metro area in the U.S., increasing their eligibility for the best rates on mortgages and other types of loans.

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That’s one of the findings of a new analysis of credit scores and loan offer information from LendingTree. The company examined over four million loan requests made through in 2015 to calculate average credit scores by metro areas, and to correlate credit scores with loan offer interest.

Western and Northeastern metros dominate the top spots on the credit score rankings, accounting for ten of the top twenty areas. Metros in Southern states account for virtually all of the twenty lowest-ranking cities.

Credit scores represent people’s creditworthiness for loans through a calculation of several different factors, including the amount an individual currently owes to lenders and his or her credit history.

Most credit score models range from a low of 300 to a high of 850, with those above 720 usually considered excellent loan candidates and those below 500 generally classified as poor candidates. The average score in this study is 643.

In 2015, borrowers with a credit score of 720 and higher were offered APRs averaging 4.15% for a 30-year fixed rate purchase mortgage. For a $200,000 loan, the monthly payment would be roughly $963 per month.

However, borrowers with a credit score between 620 and 639 were offered APRs averaging 4.93%. For the same loan, the borrower with the lower credit score would pay about $1,052 per month, a difference of roughly $89 per month, $1,068 per year or over $32,000 over the life of the loan.

The study is based on data from more than four million loan requests submitted through LendingTree in 2015 including refinance, purchase, home equity, and personal loans (excluding auto, business, student & credit card.)

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