If New York City is the cultural and economic hub of the East Coast, then San Francisco is its counterpart out West.
San Francisco’s Financial District is the monetary pulse of the West Coast. Rich in history, The City by the Bay has ignited countless cultural movements that have spread throughout the United States.
Trailing only New York City, San Francisco is also the second most densely populated city in the U.S. With this density comes much diversity.
Diversity defines many aspects of life in San Fran, but LendEDU decided to focus on one in particular: financial health.
LendEDU’s newest report, “A Look at San Francisco’s Finances: Neighborhood by Neighborhood,” evaluates the financial health of all 27 neighborhoods in the city of San Francisco.
Using data licensed from Experian, our study analyzed the following six economic indicators in each neighborhood: (1) Average Credit Score; (2) Average Income Insight W2SM Score; (3) Average Mortgage Balance; (4) Average Student Loan Balance; (5) Average Credit Card Balance; (6) Average Auto Loan Balance.
Below, you will be able to discover how each of the 27 neighborhoods in San Francisco is performing, on average, in the six aforementioned financial metrics.
Interactive Map of San Francisco’s Finances
Best Credit Scores
The following table ranks each San Francisco neighborhood based on its average credit score. The scores were collected from Experian, which uses the VantageScore 3.0®1 model. The VantageScore 3.0® is calculated by looking at a number of factors, including payment history, age and type of credit, credit utilization, total balances, recent behavior, and available credit.
The higher the credit score, the higher up a neighborhood was placed in the rankings. Average credit score is arguably the most sound indicator of a neighborhood’s financial well-being. A credit score is a three digit number given to a person that indicates to lenders their capacity to repay a loan. It is a good representation of a person’s economic situation and purchasing power, or in this case, an entire neighborhood’s situation.
>> Read More: What is a good credit score?
Best Income Insight W2SM Scores
The table below ranks every neighborhood in San Francisco based on average Income Insight W2SM score, a numerical income rating verified by Experian. The Income Insight W2SM score is a “comprehensive measurement of total income” that accounts for factors such as wages, rent, alimony, and investments. This metric is especially important for low to mid-range income neighborhoods in San Francisco, since their income is almost entirely derived from wages. This is an important indicator of financial health in San Francisco neighborhoods because, according to Experian, Income Insight W2SM scores “enhance your ability to assess a complete financial picture.”
Highest Mortgage Balances
The table you will find below ranks every San Francisco neighborhood based on the average amount of open mortgage balances. Neighborhoods that had a higher average mortgage balance were placed higher on the list. The numbers were collected from Experian, which defined the metric as the “average balance on open mortgage type trades reported in the last six months.” A mortgage is a legal agreement by which a creditor lends money at interest in exchange for taking title of the debtor’s property, with the condition that the transfer of title becomes void upon payment of the debt. Neighborhoods that have a higher average mortgage balance are typically areas where property is more valuable and expensive.
Highest Student Loan Balances
The following table has given a ranking to each neighborhood in San Francisco according to average student loan balance. Neighborhoods that had a higher average student loan balance received a higher ranking. These numbers were reported by Experian, which defined the indicator as the “average balance on open student trades reported in the last six months.” Average student loan balance is a key financial health metric because of the impact that student debt has on financial commitments. It is quite likely that neighborhood’s with higher average student loan balances could have more residents that completed higher levels of education, such as a Master’s or Law degree.
Highest Credit Card Balances
In the next table, you will be provided with a ranking of every San Francisco neighborhood based on average credit card balance. Similar to the aforementioned tables, areas that had a higher average credit card balance were ranked higher up on the list. Experian® has defined this statistic as the “average balance on open revolving bankcard trades reported in the last six months.” Neighborhoods that displayed high levels of credit card debt could mean that those residents are more comfortable swiping their credit card because they are certain they can pay it back. Contrarily, it could also indicate that residents are struggling more and relying on credit to get by. A look at credit score would help sort out the uncertainty.
Highest Auto Loan Balances
The sixth and final table ranks San Francisco neighborhoods based on average auto loan balance. A higher auto loan balance resulted in a higher ranking. This financial metric is defined by Experian as the “average balance on open auto loan and lease trades reported in the last six months.” Like other metrics in this report, a higher average auto loan balance may indicate a level of confidence from both the creditor and debtor that the loan will be repaid. A neighborhood’s placement on this list is most likely correlated with how useful a car is in the respective area.
LendEDU licensed all data used in this study from Experian’s Premier Aggregated Credit StatisticsSM dataset. Statistics were collected for the following six financial metrics: (1) Average Credit Score; (2) Average Income Insight W2SM Score; (3) Average Mortgage Balance; (4) Average Student Loan Balance; (5) Average Credit Card Balance; (6) Average Auto Loan Balance. For each financial metric, Experian had the necessary data broken down by ZIP CodeTM2. Several ZIPTM codes were eliminated because they pertained to PO Boxes, or large complexes such as an airport; these ZIPTM codes were not included in the report. The remaining ZIPTM codes were matched with their corresponding neighborhoods.
1. VantageScore is a registered trademark of VantageScore Solutions, LLC.
2. Experian is a nonexclusive full-service provider licensee of the United States Postal Service. The following trademarks are owned by the United States Postal Service: ZIP and ZIP Code. The price for Experian’s services is not established, controlled or approved by the United States Postal Service.
Author: Mike Brown
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