Most of us don't think too much about our credit scores until we try to buy a house or a car, secure a loan, or open a new credit card account. Only then do we get the crucial information that may make the difference between us getting what we want and being denied.

But while building the best credit score remains a mystery to most Americans, the importance of having a good credit score is something most all of us are fully aware of.

In South Dakota, we're among the best in the nation when it comes to average credit scores.

Fox Business quotes a study done by Value Penguin which has the Mount Rushmore State with an average credit score of 697, which puts us at the upper end of the 'fair' category', just below a 'good' ranking.

Credit Scores

Overall, only two states scored in the 'good range' - Minnesota and North Dakota.

Five States with the Highest Average Credit Scores 

  1. Minnesota - 707
  2. North Dakota - 700
  3. Wisconsin - 698
  4. South Dakota - 697
  5. Massachusetts - 694

A pretty impressive showing for the Midwest don't you think?

Remember there are several things you can do to keep your credit score as high as it can be. The three biggest factors - paying your bills on-time, using less than 20% of your available credit, and keeping accounts open for a long periods of time - make up a whopping 80% of your overall score.

There is no excuse for not knowing your credit score.

Sites like let you check your ranking free, without negatively impacting your score.

If you find something on your report that is hurting your score, you'll give yourself a chance to correct it before it costs you later.

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