POSTED: Tuesday, November 1, 2011 - 3:50pm
UPDATED: Monday, November 7, 2011 - 10:01am
EL PASO- According to a new study, El Paso is ranked number 10 in the country for the cities with the worst credit scores.
According to a new study done by the credit rating agency Experian, El Paso comes in at number ten in a list of the cities with the worst credit scores.
NewsChannel 9 spoke with a credit expert to find out why El Paso made the list.
Maureen Hankins counsels consumers every day at the YWCA about ways to improve their credit. When she found out that overall credit scores in El Paso are some of the worst in nation, she wasn’t surprised.
"I will tell you why. Hand-in-hand with bad credit sometimes and in fact a lot of the time, lower income goes hand-in-hand with that," says Hankins.
Hankins says overall, El Pasoans have a lower median income than a lot of other cities.
"The less money you make, the less money you can save at any given time and the closer you are to being in financial trouble," says Hankins.
She also says unexpected events can cause financial trouble.
"If something happens like somebody loses their job or has their work hours cut or a spouse gets pregnant and now is staying home for a while with the baby, there is not enough income coming in," says Hankins.
According to Hankins, often when people don't have enough emergency savings, they put themselves into more debt.
"The reason that people get into credit trouble, if they are lower income, is because they are turning to credit in order to shore up, you know, their finances for emergencies," says Hankins.
The study credit rating agency Experian says that four Texas cities fall in their top ten list.The study was conducted by taking random samples from credit scores found in Experian's database.
Hankins also offered some advice for people looking to improve their credit scores:
1. Pay the minimum payment to all monthly bills.
2. If unable to pay minimum payments, consult with a non-profit credit consulting organization to negotiate lower payments.
3. Contribute to an emergency savings fund in case an unexpected event occurs, so you won't need to take out credit.
Making the top 5 "worst credit" cities are:
1. Harlingen, Texas
2. Jackson, Mississippi
3. Corpus Christi, Texas
4. Monroe, Louisiana
5. Shreveport, Louisiana
To see the complete list of best and worst cities click here.