The ultimate power rankings are in FICO scores, not team scores

If you’re having trouble finding a college football team to root for this season, pick the one that has the best credit.

That would be Stanford University in California, with a score of 753. The rankings come from credit bureau Experian, who based the scores on adults living in the town that schools are in.

You might’ve thought actual football might’ve had something to do with rankings, but that’s just silly. Credit scores impact everything — even the very football team you should be cheering for, obviously. Take a look…

Of course, other rankings have Alabama and Florida State as the top teams, but they were the two lowest on the Experian list, getting 670 and 653, respectively. Turns out those fans in Tuscaloosa and Tallahassee aren’t as smart as those in Stanford. Who knew?

Penn State (746), Michigan (743), Washington (733), and Washington State (732) round out the top 5. Hat-tip to the Pacific Northwest for keeping their credit in line for the sake of college football.

Along with Florida State, Florida had a few schools who made the FICO power rankings: University of Florida (694) is 16th; University of Miami (676) is 22nd, and University of South Florida (675) is 23rd on the list. Florida had the most schools on the list, which means these residents have some of the best credit in the country.

Your credit score always matters (beyond football)

While the study may be tongue-in-cheek, your credit score and report are big deals. If you don’t know your FICO score, there are a few different ways to get it. Some major banks like Bank of America and Chase now offer free monthly updated scores.

For one thing, you should care about your credit score because your future mate might. A bad credit rating could turn off a date. Money questions might be uncomfortable on dates, but some people would rather cut their losses with financially irresponsible people.

If some parts of your credit report are hurting your score, keep in mind recent changes have probably improved it. Civil judgments and tax liens will be completely removed from credit reports, which could boost your score by as much as 40 points.

Debt collections — which hurt almost one-third of consumers — will be easier to read and collection companies will be required to tell you who the original outstanding payee (like the company or group that you didn’t pay sooner) was. Medical debt, in particular, won’t show up on a credit report until 180 days after it’s late. This gives you time to sort through the different doctors and hospitals that are billing you and to pay them off if insurance didn’t cover it. Before, medical debt could show up on credit reports before insurance companies even processed claims.

While getting and maintaining good credit is difficult, there are some Americans who are credit invisible. That is, when people have no credit history at all. This makes it hard for lenders to approve applications of people who can’t prove they are responsible with money. Those that are credit invisible are more likely to be low-income or come from neighborhoods that aren’t financially stable. In other words, credit invisible Americans probably don’t live in Stanford.

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Meet the Author

Dori Zinn

Dori Zinn


Zinn is a freelance journalist based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

College, Credit & Debt

credit report, credit score, interactive map, sports

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Article last modified on August 31, 2017 Published by, LLC . Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: You’ll Never Guess Which College Football Team Is the Best — According to Experian - AMP.