LendingTree Study Compares Credit Health in Red vs Blue States

CHARLOTTE, N.C., May 31, 2017 - LendingTree®, the nation’s leading online loan marketplace, analyzed credit scores and credit card debt from consumers in all 50 states and Washington D.C. over the past 12 months who either submitted a loan request through LendingTree or have a My LendingTree account.  The findings show that the differences between ‘red’ and ‘blue’ states, as defined by the most recent presidential election, extend beyond political leanings and into credit health.

Although the Republican party earned the most electoral votes in the last presidential election, Americans living in ‘blue’ states have higher credit scores on average when compared to their ‘red’ state counterparts. The average credit score from consumers in ‘blue’ states was 681, substantially higher than the ‘red’ state average of 665. In fact, the ten states with the lowest average credit score are all considered ‘red’ states. Nationally, the average credit score was 671, which represents a six-point increase from the prior year. 

Overall, consumers in 28 states have an average credit score at or above the national average.

Along with the highest average credit scores, ‘blue’ state residents also have higher credit card debt on average when compared to those residing in ‘red’ states. The average total credit card debt for ‘blue’ states is $6,702 while the ‘red’ states average $5,475 over the past 12 months. The national average total credit card debt is $5,936. Interestingly, the ten states with the highest average total credit card debt are all considered blue states.

“The correlation between credit scores and credit card debt illustrates the power and importance of credit health and responsibility,” said Doug Lebda, founder and CEO of LendingTree. “When used responsibly, credit cards are a great tool to build credit, and carrying debt doesn’t automatically have a negative impact on credit scores.  The data also suggests that geography plays a role in consumer spending and how Americans utilize credit.  Southern states, for example, tend to carry less overall credit card debt but also have lower credit scores on average when compared to consumers in the northeast. Economic opportunities, cost of living and culture are all factors that contribute to the differences in consumer credit between ‘red’ and ‘blue’ states.”

The table below provides a ranking of each state and Washington, D.C. based on the average total credit card debt of over 3 million My LendingTree account holders with credit card debt as of May 26, 2017:
 
Rank State Avg Total Credit Card Debt Avg Debt Per Card Avg # of Cards Red/Blue State Avg Credit Score (May '16 to May '17)
1 CT $8,856.97 $2,208.72 3.5 Blue 685
2 NJ $8,587.35 $2,058.32 3.6 Blue 688
3 MD $7,569.49 $2,041.62 3.2 Blue 678
4 MA $7,303.89 $1,888.31 3.2 Blue 690
5 CA $7,143.87 $1,971.97 3.2 Blue 694
6 NY $6,987.79 $1,816.31 3.2 Blue 682
7 HI $6,971.71 $2,036.93 3 Blue 694
8 RI $6,925.44 $1,781.70 3.6 Blue 679
9 VT $6,725.95 $1,908.00 3 Blue 674
10 NH $6,717.01 $1,855.94 3.1 Blue 681
11 CO $6,715.62 $2,067.89 2.9 Blue 691
12 AK $6,617.62 $2,248.52 2.6 Red 681
13 NV $6,590.86 $2,014.97 3 Blue 675
14 WA $6,538.22 $1,967.49 2.8 Blue 688
15 MT $6,421.75 $2,000.57 3 Red 682
16 FL $6,370.54 $1,794.42 3 Red 672
17 UT $6,368.22 $1,953.24 2.7 Red 683
18 VA $6,279.44 $1,818.01 2.8 Blue 679
19 ND $6,185.37 $1,759.31 3.1 Red 675
20 WY $6,165.73 $1,949.98 2.7 Red 671
21 PA $6,143.48 $1,734.30 3 Red 666
22 ME $6,133.23 $1,789.04 2.9 Blue 666
23 OR $6,094.16 $1,868.14 3 Blue 687
24 DE $6,088.07 $1,672.32 3.2 Blue 668
25 SD $6,075.96 $1,882.17 2.7 Red 675
26 WI $5,986.49 $1,735.11 2.8 Red 665
National Average $5,935.54 $1,738.78 2.8   671
27 AZ $5,925.40 $1,825.91 2.9 Red 680
28 MN $5,864.52 $1,766.82 2.8 Blue 686
29 IL $5,825.30 $1,740.10 2.8 Blue 670
30 KS $5,804.97 $1,814.48 2.8 Red 664
31 ID $5,775.39 $1,780.41 2.7 Red 674
32 TX $5,764.76 $1,699.40 2.8 Red 657
33 NM $5,746.41 $1,821.10 2.7 Blue 663
34 MI $5,680.75 $1,684.87 2.8 Red 661
35 GA $5,395.84 $1,597.39 2.7 Red 658
36 NC $5,278.73 $1,599.08 2.7 Red 664
37 MO $5,223.76 $1,644.56 2.7 Red 656
38 OH $5,208.13 $1,578.26 2.7 Red 658
39 IA $5,160.12 $1,598.73 2.6 Red 670
40 SC $5,128.11 $1,580.15 2.5 Red 662
41 DC $5,065.50 $1,421.75 4 Blue 694
42 OK $5,026.84 $1,653.30 2.5 Red 675
43 TN $5,006.71 $1,570.44 2.5 Red 656
44 IN $4,979.64 $1,594.15 2.5 Red 664
45 AR $4,900.37 $1,486.93 2.7 Red 646
46 AL $4,788.34 $1,525.16 2.4 Red 646
47 LA $4,600.75 $1,465.94 2.4 Red 656
48 KY $4,490.95 $1,445.26 2.5 Red 648
49 WV $4,420.87 $1,416.58 2.5 Red 646
50 MS $3,869.54 $1,308.02 2.2 Red 643
 
METHODOLOGY
LendingTree analyzed over 10 million credit scores from consumers who submitted a loan request through LendingTree Between April 1, 2016 and March 31, 2017.  Credit card debt information was gathered through an analysis of over 4 million My LendingTree account holders.

About LendingTree
LendingTree (NASDAQ: TREE) is the nation's leading online loan marketplace, empowering consumers as they comparison-shop across a full suite of loan and credit-based offerings.  LendingTree provides an online marketplace which connects consumers with multiple lenders that compete for their business, as well as an array of online tools and information to help consumers find the best loan. Since inception, LendingTree has facilitated more than 65 million loan requests. LendingTree provides free monthly credit scores through My LendingTree and access to its network of over 450 lenders offering home loans, personal loans, credit cards, student loans, business loans, home equity loans/lines of credit, auto loans and more. LendingTree, LLC is a subsidiary of LendingTree, Inc. For more information go to www.lendingtree.com, dial 800-555-TREE, like our Facebook page and/or follow us on Twitter @LendingTree.