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Consumer credit varies nationally due to regional variations in income and the cost of living. To get a sense of where it's strongest and weakest, here's a look at the five best and worst states for consumer credit scores.

Credit scores generally are stronger in the Northeast and Midwest and weaker in parts of the South, statistics from online loan platform LendEDU and Experian show. The best average state scores are roughly 7% higher than the national average, while the worst states are about 7% lower.

VantageScore claims it can score as many as 30 million to 50 million more consumers than the traditional FICO scores that mortgage lenders use, including 7.6 million consumers with scores above 620 that could be acceptable credit risks.

The average VantageScores for all 50 states fall within this range, which suggests there could be some additional business development opportunities for lenders across the country. The state markets vary widely in sizes from millions to billions of dollars per state, according to Attom Data Solutions.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored enterprises that buy most U.S. mortgages, don't use VantageScores and don't plan to update their credit models until at least 2019. However, Fannie Mae is starting to collect some of the more detailed data that VantageScore draws on to purchase a wider range of loans from lenders.

Experian and two other credit reporting companies, TransUnion and Equifax, created VantageScore in 2006 through a joint venture that manages the business as an independent company. While FICO and Vantage credit scores use the same 300 to 850 range, the values are not identical because of differences in their proprietary scoring models.
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No. 5 Best: South Dakota
Average score: 711
Difference from U.S. average: 5.27%
Quarterly mortgage volume: $85.4 million
Alabama
No. 5 Worst: Alabama
Average score: 657
Difference from U.S. average: -4.55%
Quarterly mortgage volume: $3.1 billion
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No. 4 Best: New Hampshire
Average score: 712
Difference from U.S. average: 5.45%
Quarterly mortgage volume: $1.9 billion
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No. 4 Worst: Nevada
Average score: 657
Difference from U.S. average: -4.55%
Quarterly mortgage volume: $5.8 billion
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No. 3 Best: Vermont
Average score: 713
Difference from U.S. average: 5.64%
Quarterly mortgage volume: $572 million*
*Estimate from HMDA data
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No. 3 Worst: Georgia
Average score: 656
Difference from U.S. average:-4.73%
Quarterly mortgage volume: $13.4 billion
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No. 2 Best: North Dakota
Average score: 713
Difference from U.S. average: 5.64%
Quarterly mortgage volume: $13.4 billion
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No. 2 Worst: Louisiana
Average score: 654
Difference from U.S. average:-5.09%
Quarterly mortgage volume: $2.9 billion
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No. 1 Best: Minnesota
Average score: 722
Difference from U.S. average: 7.27%
Quarterly mortgage volume: $6.9 billion
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No. 1 Worst: Mississippi
Average score: 648
Difference from U.S. average: -6.18%
Quarterly mortgage volume: $961.1 million
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