fit for fico

Houston suburbs charge ahead with some of the highest credit scores in Texas

Give credit where credit is due. The Woodlands falls in the "very good" category. Photo courtesy of Local Government Federal Credit Union

Give the residents of The Woodlands some credit. They’re able to brag about achieving some of the highest credit scores in Texas.

A new study from personal finance website WalletHub shows the median credit score of a Woodlands resident is 757. Among the 2,572 U.S. cities covered in the study, The Woodlands nabs a 287th-place tie for cities with the highest median credit score.

FICO, the primary producer of credit scores in the U.S., characterizes 757 as a “very good” credit score. On the FICO scale, credit scores range from 300 to 850. A credit score anywhere from 740 to 799 is above the U.S. average “and demonstrates to lenders that the borrow is very dependable,” according to FICO.

WalletHub based the study on September 2021 data from TransUnion, one of the three major credit-reporting bureaus. In the study, The Villages, a retirement community in Florida, is the only city where the median credit score is above 800 — 806, to be exact.

Two other Houston-area suburbs — Montgomery and Friendswood — ranked among Texas cities for the highest credit scores, coming in with a median credit score of 738 and 732, respectively.

Here are the other cities in the top 15 statewide:

  • Colleyville (Dallas-Fort Worth), 777, 23rd nationally.
  • Flower Mound, 762, tied for 185th place nationally.
  • Coppell (Dallas-Fort Worth), 758, tied for 262nd place nationally.
  • The Woodlands (Houston), 757, tied for 287th nationally.
  • Keller (Dallas-Fort Worth), 756, tied for 300th nationally.
  • Allen (Dallas-Fort Worth), 750, tied for 428th nationally.
  • Georgetown (Austin), 749, tied for 446th nationally.
  • Frisco (Dallas-Fort Worth), 748, tied for 467th nationally.
  • Cedar Park (Austin), 743, tied for 568th nationally.
  • Plano (Dallas-Fort Worth), 740, tied for 629th nationally.
  • Montgomery (Houston), 738, tied for 681st nationally.
  • Friendswood (Houston), 732, tied for 784th nationally.
  • Rockwall (Dallas-Fort Worth), 732, tied for 784th nationally.

Among Texas’ biggest cities, Austin is the only one where the median credit score exceeds 700. In the Capital City, the median score is 713, tied for 1,208th nationally. San Antonio is next in line, at 664 (tied for 2,236th nationally), followed by Houston (662, tied for 2281st nationally), Dallas (661, tied for 2,299th nationally), and Fort Worth (615.5, tied for 2,545th nationally).

Bad news for Sugar Land, which is the only Texas city with a median credit score below 600. According to the study, the median score there is 571, putting it in 2,563rd place nationally. FICO identifies that as a “poor” credit score.

J. Keith Baker, a CPA and certified financial planner who teaches at Dallas College’s North Lake campus in Irving, tells WalletHub that the best way to improve or maintain your credit score is to pay your credit card balances in full every month.

“Some folks will close a credit card account thinking it will help them manage their spending and protect them from identity theft since they are not using an account,” Baker says. “While this may make sense for an individual’s financial situation, do not assume it will automatically improve your credit scores.”

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This article originally ran on CultureMap.

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Building Houston

 
 

Houston-based Melax Tech has developed multiple Natural language processing tools that are used by more than 650 health care and life science organizations. Photo via MelaxTech.com

Melax Tech Partners, a leader in natural language technology processing, announced a new partnership with the University of California at Irvine that will help researchers derive insights from the UCI Health Data Science Platform’s electronic health records system and improve patient care.

Melax will implement its signature text annotation tool LANN to pull information from clinical notes, and its CLAMP product to develop natural language processing customizations through the use of AI, according to a statement from the company.

“There has been a strong desire among UCI researchers to have the capability to analyze free-text clinical narrative data using cutting-edge NLP technologies," Kai Zheng, chief research information officer at UCI Health Affairs, says in a statement. "We are delighted to have this opportunity to work with Melax Tech to deploy their AI-driven annotation and analytics tools to help our researchers advance their research agenda by leveraging the vast amount of free-text data that our health system has accumulated in the past two decades.”

Natural language processing, or NLP, allows organizations and healthcare groups to sift through and analyze massive amounts of data at a rapid rate through the use of machine learning and AI. Houston-based Melax Tech, founded in 2017, has developed multiple NLP tools that are used by more than 650 health care and life science organizations, according to its website.

In addition to the recent partnership with UC Irvine, Melax has also recently partnered with Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the University of Western Pennsylvania on similar clinical projects.

Melax has also used its platforms to pull vital information from datasets relating to COVID-19, in both medical and social settings.

In March 2022, it was awarded a Phase 1 NIH Award, valued at $300,000, to develop informatics tools based on COVID-19 datasets with the San Diego Supercomputer Center at UC San Diego. The tool aims to help researchers better understand vast amounts of virus-related data and connect findings with other similar results.

In August, Melax also received another $300,000 grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to develop NLP-based algorithms that will "model, extract and synthesize vaccine misinformation from multiple popular social media sources," according to a statement. Melax will also develop a visualization that presents its findings on the misinformation into a compressible format.

"This is a very real topic affecting culture at present," Andre Pontin, CEO at Melax Tech, says in a statement. "And shows that we as a collective business and group of experts continue to be on the cutting-edge of science in the NLP and AI domain."

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