South Carolina Ranks 9th in the Nation for Improved Credit Scores in 2023: A National Perspective

January 14, 2024

As we embark on a new year, the pursuit of financial well-being remains a common resolution for many individuals. WalletHub’s recent report on the states with the largest credit score increases highlights South Carolina’s remarkable achievement, securing the 9th position in the national ranking for improved credit scores in 2023.

In this article, we’ll explore the key findings of the report and provide valuable tips for enhancing credit scores. Additionally, we’ll incorporate the latest national data, as of May 2023, shedding light on the average credit score in America and its various dynamics.

South Carolina’s Credit Score Improvement:

WalletHub’s data reveals that South Carolina experienced a noteworthy 2.02% increase in its average credit score between Q3 2022 and Q3 2023, reaching an impressive average of 658. This places the state at the forefront of credit score improvements nationally.

National Overview:

As of May 2023, the average credit score in America was calculated to be 714, showcasing resilience despite economic challenges such as inflation and record levels of credit card debt. Credit scores have generally been on an upward trajectory since 2010, with a noticeable boost from 2019 to 2020 attributed to pandemic relief measures, including stimulus payments and enhanced unemployment insurance.

Key National Findings:

  1. Average Credit Score in America: The national average credit score is 714, reflecting a stable trend amid economic pressures.
  2. Age Disparities: Older Americans tend to have higher average credit scores. Baby boomers boast an average score of 742, while millennials average at 687.
  3. Exceptional Scores: Approximately 23% of Americans boast an “exceptional” credit score of 800 or above.
  4. Credit Score Categories: Understanding the FICO scale, the widely used credit score metric, is crucial. A good credit score falls between 670 and 739, while an exceptional score ranges from 800 to 850.
    • Exceptional: 800 to 850
    • Very Good: 740 to 799
    • Good: 670 to 739
    • Fair: 580 to 699
    • Poor: 300 to 579
  5. Credit Bureaus and Calculation: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, the three major credit bureaus, calculate credit scores based on information reported by creditors. Factors such as timely bill payments and credit utilization contribute to these scores.

Tips for Improving Your Credit Score:

Improving your credit score is a universal goal that requires commitment and strategic planning. Here are some tips to help you boost your credit score in the coming year:

  • Check Your Credit Report Regularly: Obtain free annual credit reports and review them for errors or discrepancies. Dispute any inaccuracies promptly to ensure an accurate representation of your credit history.
  • Pay Bills on Time: Timely payment of bills, including credit card payments, is crucial for maintaining a positive credit history. Set up reminders or automatic payments to avoid missing due dates.
  • Reduce Credit Card Balances: Aim to keep your credit card balances low relative to your credit limits. High credit utilization can negatively impact your credit score.
  • Diversify Your Credit Mix: Having a mix of credit types, such as credit cards, installment loans, and retail accounts, can positively influence your credit score. However, only open new accounts when necessary.
  • Create a Budget: Establishing a budget helps you manage your finances effectively, ensuring that you allocate funds to cover essential expenses and make debt payments on time.
  • Seek Professional Advice: If you’re facing challenges in managing your finances or improving your credit, consider seeking advice from a certified credit counselor. They can provide personalized guidance based on your unique situation.

South Carolina’s noteworthy 9th-place ranking in WalletHub’s report signifies the commendable efforts of its residents in improving their credit scores. Nationally, the average credit score remains robust, demonstrating resilience against economic challenges. Regardless of where you live, adopting sound financial practices, as outlined in our earlier tips, can pave the way for a healthier financial future. Understanding the dynamics of credit scores at both the state and national levels empowers individuals to make informed decisions on their journey to financial well-being.