Health: How do credit scores of major Florida cities rank relative to other U.S. cities?
Wake up and good morning. If Wausau, Wis., has the highest average credit score (at 789) among 143 U.S. cities, and Harlingen, Texas, has the lowest (at 686), where do Florida's cities rank?
According to a national analysis by credit bureau Experian, seven major Florida cities had credit scores ranging from a high of 753 in West Palm Beach to 719 in Tallahassee. Tampa scored a 740, slightly below average.
What does this mean? The higher the credit score, the greater the heavy lifting a city can do when it comes to borrowing money or managing its debts.
Compared with the rest of the nation, the top scoring cities -- mostly in the Midwest at the moment -- tend to have lower unemployment rates and less debt. As reported here by USA Today, the national average of 749 is in the "C" range. It has fallen from a score of 754 in 2007 before the recession.
In other words, most of the credit scores of Florida cities are C's or lower. The lower the credit score, the higher the interest rates cities have to pay when they borrow.
Here are the credit scores of seven Florida cities. (The full list of 143 cities and their scores can be found here.)
National rank, City, Credit Score:
62 WEST PALM BEACH 753
69 FT. MYERS 750
92 TAMPA 740
98 ORLANDO 734
113 JACKSONVILLE 727
122 MIAMI 719
123 TALLAHASSEE 719
-- Robert Trigaux, Business Columnist, St. Petersburg Times