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Fuggetaboutit: America's Rudest Cities Also Have the Best Credit

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When it comes to sh*t New Yorkers say, you probably wouldn't expect to hear, "I have a better credit score than you." Apparently, they're being modest.

The top five rudest cities nationwide, including New York City which was crowned the rudest city in America, also happen to also be the cities with the healthiest credit.

Travel+Leisure magazine's annual survey ranks the capitals of crabbiness across America. New York takes the dubious highest honors, followed by Miami, Washington D.C., Los Angeles and Boston. However, these bully cities also have the highest credit scores. Is financial savviness related to outrageous attitudes?

The average consumer nationwide has a credit score of 660, according to the latest CreditKarma.com stats, which is on the borderline of poor and fair credit. However, four out of the five rudest cities have a higher credit score than the national average.

New Yorkers have an average credit score of 682, and the scores are even higher for Washingtonians (686), Los Angeleans (684) and Bostonians (687). A credit score in the 660s range versus the 680s range seems negligible, but it translates to a significant difference in consumers' financial lives. The difference of a few points may be the thin line between approval or rejection on a credit application and the difference of thousands of dollars in interest payments.

Miami is the only city to have a credit score below the national average, with a 656 citywide consumer average.

Why do the rudest cities happen to have healthier credit scores than the rest of us? Maybe Travel+Leisure's survey called out more than just cultural differences; perhaps New Yorkers' infamous hostility, Los Angeleans' road rage, and Bostonians' smartass attitudes holds the secret to excellent credit.

These cities may not take kindly to tourists, but they seem to have the right aggressive attitude for financial management. Here are quick tips for a better credit score that the rudest cities in America seem to already know:

  1. Always pay on-time. Payment history is a significant influencer on your credit score. Be aggressive and persistent about paying all of your credit accounts on-time every month. Use a free budgeting tool like Mint and set up payment alert reminders to prevent late or missed payments.
  2. Diversify your credit. New York also scored first place in the survey for diversity, something you should apply to your credit too. A diversity of credit types, such a credit card, mortgage and student loan, helps build a better credit score.
  3. Keep credit use under 30 percent of your total credit limits. An aggressive attitude can backfire if you're using your credit cards too much. Your total credit use throughout the month should remain below 30 percent of your total credit card limits.
  4. Don't say "fuggetaboutit" to your credit. Check your credit score and monitor your progress frequently so you can stay on top of any fluctuations. CreditKarma.com provides a free credit monitoring service that will notify you immediately of any significant changes to your credit file.

It might be typical New Yorker behavior to yell at you to "Move, MOVE!" but that "get it done" attitude may be just what you need to give your credit a boost.

Justine Rivero is the Credit Advisor for CreditKarma.com, a free credit management website that helps nearly 5 million consumers access their truly free credit score and free credit monitoring.