According to a survey released by Experian, Dallas-Fort Worth ties with Miami-Fort Lauderdale for having the lowest credit score among the top 20 metro areas in the nation. Not only that, but Dallas-Fort Worth ranks No. 2 for having the highest average debt per consumer, right behind Settle. So why is it that Dallas-Fort Worth is sinking in debt with credit scores that are suffering? Two of the main factors contributing to Dallas-Fort Worth’s credit troubles are job losses and the foreclosure crisis.
Many debtors who lose their jobs are forced to rely on credit cards and even equity stored in their homes to survive. Despite the extension in unemployment benefits, many debtors are unable to maintain payments on their credit cards and home mortgages. A high number of missed payments plus a higher debt to income ratio has conspired to make Dallas-Fort Worth residents some of the most indebted citizens in the nation.
According to Experian, the average Dallas-Fort Worth resident has $26,599 in debt while the national average is $24,775. Also, Dallas-Fort Worth has an average credit score of 719. Whiles some may see a credit score of 719 to be an excellent score, remember, average means that half of Dallas-Fort Worth residents have credit scores below 719 which does not bode well for Dallas-Fort Worth’s economy.
Earning and maintaining a decent credit score is about paying your bills on time; but also keeping your debt load low. One of the positive aspects of bankruptcy is that debtors often experience an increase in their credit score after a bankruptcy discharge because their debt load has been dramatically decreased.