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Study Finds California Mortgage Applicants Have Highest Credit Scores

California mortgage applicants have the highest average credit scores in the nation, according to a state-by-state study conducted by ""Mortgage Marvel"":http://www.MortgageMarvel.com, a nationwide online mortgage-shopping service. The average credit score in California is 755, a full 20 points higher than the national average.

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""These are interesting results,"" said Rick Allen, Mortgage Marvel's product manager. ""With all of California's well-publicized issues with decreasing property values and foreclosures, I would have expected it to be well down the list. Many Californians have clearly figured out how to weather the financial storms.""

Hawaii had the second highest average score at 752, and Oregon wasn't far behind with an average score of 751.

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Five New England states also scored high - Connecticut (751), Rhode Island (745), Massachusetts (744), New Hampshire (744), and Vermont (744). The Midwest states of Wisconsin (747) and Minnesota (745) rounded out the top 10.

Mortgage Marvel reports that income appears to play a role in these findings. Based on 2008 data by the U.S. Census Bureau, the Northeastern and Western markets also have the highest per capita income of the nation's five regions.

The Southeast region occupied five of the 10 lowest credit score positions. Mississippi had the lowest average credit score at 695. Southwest states Oklahoma (710) and Texas (716) occupied two of the bottom ten positions.

""When I first looked at the results, I was a bit surprised that the results did not more closely follow the most troubled real estate markets,"" observed Allen. ""After we looked closer, however, we found that per capita income levels for 2008 as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau show a similar landscape with the West and Northeast at the top of the list and the Southwest and Southeast at the bottom. This led us to conclude that there is a closer correlation between the strength of the credit score and the per capita income of the region.""

The study was conducted by analyzing more than 340,000 first mortgage applicants in 2010. Mortgage Marvel is operated by ""Mortgagebot LLC"":http://www.Mortgagebot.com, a provider of Web-based mortgage point-of-sale solutions.

About Author: Heather Cernoch

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