Today, Operation HOPE announces the launch of its 700 Credit Score Index in collaboration with credit and information bureau Experian. This index, the first of its kind, reveals the average credit score for every city and state in the United States and gives shape and context to the work of Operation HOPE and its focus on creating 700-Credit-Score-Communities across the nation. The announcement comes in step with the release of Experian’s State of Credit report, which gives a high level, comprehensive view of how the country has handled credit in the past year and other measures of financial health, including the average amount of consumer credit card, auto debt, and delinquencies among others.
Overall, the report finds that after the second summer of the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans across the board are faring well with the highest national credit score average in 13 years (695). It appears that many consumers used the slowdown in day-to-day activities and the financial stimulus supplied by the CARES Act helped individuals and families pay down debts and increase their savings.
Credit and money management education remains the top priority for Operation HOPE, and the new Credit Score Index helps us focus on the communities that need our services to help them arrive at a 700-credit score, the ideal target for unlocking and leveraging financial wellness and improved quality of life in the economy. While many have fared positively in the pandemic, many others have not and remain “invisible” to a degree even within the context of the report. Nevertheless, a strong credit score remains best indicator for overall financial wellbeing and quality of life, and serves as a launching pad for achieving the American dream. We are happy to have launched this dynamic tool and asset which has been made available to other non-profits and academic institutions working to understand the financial realities of Americans and improve the nation’s overall financial wellness. We fully expect that it will add value to their efforts and lead us towards finanical literacy for all.