Are Credit Scores Growing In Your Resident City?

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Last updated on September 6th, 2023

Has your credit score improved in the last recent years? If so, it may be a common trend for your fellow neighbors too. A recent Experian report indicates an upward trend in credit scores of the fastest-growing mid-sized cities in the U.S. Here’s what you should know.

Fastest Growing Mid-Sized Cities and Trending Credit Scores

The Experian study analyzed mid-sized cities that grew by 5% or more since 2016 while adding 50,000 to 100,000 new residents over that time, according to U.S. Census data. The credit attributes from these “Boom towns” were then compared to other U.S. cities.

Since 2016, FICO® Scores have seen a nationwide average increase of 15 points (from 699 in 2016 to 714 in 2022). However, mid-sized cities have surpassed the national average by 21 points. What does this mean? It means mid-sized cities have seen population changes leading to better credit scores. According to Census data, these mid-sized (previously small) cities have grown exponentially over the last few years.

The data shows 20 mid-sized cities have added 50,000 or more residents since 2016. In nearly half of those cities, roughly 1 in 10 residents are newbies to the area. However, most areas still host between 500,000 and 1 million in population in 2022. As a result, the healthy rates at which these cities have grown in population attract employers and more economic activity which can lead to better credit scores.

Factors Affecting the Rise in Credit Scores

It’s important to note there are many other factors that come into play when analyzing the rise in credit scores for growing mid-sized cities. For example, making a big move to a smaller town near a growing mid-sized city can very well mean more affordable living. When living is affordable, budgeting, investing, and saving money becomes a more attainable financial goal. If you have extra money in your pockets, paying down existing debt is easier to manage and can truly impact your credit score in a positive light. Not to mention, an affordable town, means homeownership could be more feasible and can also have positive effects on your credit score if done responsibly.

Average FICO® Score Change Since 2016 by City
City Average FICO® Score, 2016 Average FICO® Score, 2022 Change (Points)
Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL 695 720 +25
Colorado Springs, CO 701 722 +21
Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL 687 710 +23
Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA 715 730 +15
Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR 693 709 +16
Greeley, CO 703 725 +22
Greenville-Anderson, SC 672 706 +34
Huntsville, AL 697 714 +17
Killeen-Temple, TX 663 681 +18
Knoxville, TN 696 715 +19
Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC 681 712 +31
Ogden-Clearfield, UT 711 733 +22
Oklahoma City 684 700 +16
Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA 713 729 +16
Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL 699 718 +19
Port St. Lucie, FL 694 714 +20
Richmond, VA 694 714 +20
Salt Lake City 702 726 +24
Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA 707 728 +21
Stockton, CA 678 704 +26
All U.S. Consumers 699 714 +15

Where are Boom Town Residents Migrating From?

Many of the new Boom Town residents are not traveling from far away. Most mid-cities’ population growth stems from nearby smaller metro areas within the same state. The majority of the Boom Towns are in the Southern and Western regions of the U.S., except for two cities – Des Moines, Iowa, and Omaha, Nebraska. Otherwise, they are most widespread in Florida, which possesses four of the fastest-growing mid-sized metros: Cape Coral, Deltona, Palm Bay, and Port St. Lucie.

Research report data shows that citizens in these 20 growing cities improved their credit score by at least 15 points. The cities with the highest growth in credit scores are located in South Carolina: Myrtle Beach and Greenville. These two Boom Towns saw average FICO® Scores increase by 30 points.

The Difference Between Large and Mid-Sized Cities

Fast-growing mid-sized cities see population growth arriving from within the same state – usually from larger nearby cities. In contrast, the bigger cities in the country with credit score increases encounter population growth from out of state. The large booming cities also serve as a supply to smaller nearby towns with new residents.

Most Common Sources of New Residents Since 2016
Source City Boom City Boom Town
New York City Charlotte, NC Charleston, SC
Los Angeles Seattle, WA Spokane, WA
Miami Orlando, FL Deltona, FL

The Bottom Line

Although the study shows significant credit score and population changes in recent years, Experian also analyzed data on economic impact from before the Covid-19 pandemic. Nearly all of the 20 Boom Towns identified by Experian were also considered examples of economically “resilient” metro areas. In other words, these cities exhibited above-average economic growth both prior to and following the pandemic in 2020. Who knows? If you don’t already live in one of these booming cities, your town might be next.

Related Article: 3 Ways Credit Card Debt Impacts Credit Scores

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About: Jeannyn Gomez
Jeannyn Gomez

Jeannyn is the Content Management Assistant for In addition to serving on all aspects of social media and spreading the word on expert credit and personal finance advice, Jeannyn finds herself on quests for humor, supernatural phenomena, and conspiracy theories for fun.

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