Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Which City's Residents Have the Best Credit Score?

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Which City's Residents Have the Best Credit Score?

Article excerpt

THE MONEY MINDERS

Venice residents can boast of having the highest average credit score in the region.

According to personal finance website WalletHub, consumers in Venice had an average credit score of 720.89, which tied for 177th among the 2,570 cities measured.

Englewood was second in the region at 708.64, which ranked 380th nationally, while Punta Gorda was third with an average 705.05 credit score, which came in 458th in the U.S.

The data came from TransUnion, one of the three major credit reporting bureaus in the country. Its scores range from 300 to 850, with a score from the mid-700s and higher considered excellent credit that typically qualifies for the best loan rates.

Residents in the city of Sarasota reported an average credit score of 687.15, ranking 874th nationally; Port Charlotte came in with a 679.78 average score, for 1,089th place; and Bradenton averaged 668.16, ranking 1,399th.

Not surprisingly, retiree-based communities showed some of the top credit scores nationwide. The Villages in Florida ranked first, while Sun City West in Arizona was second. Sun City Center in Florida came in fifth.

SBA prefers Gateway

Gateway Bank of Southwest Florida has been awarded "Preferred Lender Program" status by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

"Achieving PLP status will allow Gateway Bank to really streamline the SBA lending process as the approval time frame will be considerably shorter," bank president/CEO Shaun Merriman said in a news release.

Under the program, the SBA delegates final credit decisions and most servicing and liquidation authority and responsibility to the PLP lenders.

The bank's SBA effort is led by group vice president Jordan Hallam.

The SBA's flagship 7(a) loan program helps borrowers obtain loans -- ranging from $50,000 to $5 million -- that they may not have qualified for under conventional underwriting standards. …

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