LAS VEGAS - Unemployment may still be high in Las Vegas, but credit scores are improving.
Out of 143 cities nationwide, Las Vegas is one of three that saw huge improvements in residents' credit scores.
For years, Experian Credit Services ranked Las Vegas as one of the top 10 worst cities in the country for credit scores, but Las Vegas is finally off that list. In fact, Las Vegas has been named most improved – ranking 131st out of 143 cities. That's up five spots.
The average Las Vegan has a pretty good credit score - coming in at 714. Last year, the average score was 709.
Experian says Las Vegans have lowered the balances on their credit cards, which is one of the best ways to improve your score. This signals that even in a tough economic climate, Las Vegans are choosing to pay off and lower their debts – which is universally considered a good thing and could be a sign of recovery.
Minneapolis has the highest average credit score at 787. The city with the lowest average is Harlingen, Texas with 688.
It's not just people who are improving their scores. Businesses are too. A business' credit score helps banks and other institutions determine how risky it is to loan them money.
The survey found local businesses are performing quite well, and new businesses are popping up in Las Vegas.
The study shows an 11.3 percent increase in the number of new businesses established nationally during the last year. Las Vegas was one of the cities that saw the greatest improvements by businesses and consumers.
Las Vegas witnessed a 64.4 percent increase in the number of new businesses, a 10.5 percent decrease in bankruptcies and a 9.2 percent improvement in business credit scores.
Experian says that means businesses here are getting stronger. Locals hope that translates into employment stability.
Nationally, business credit scores went down. In Las Vegas, they increased.