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

 
 

With fresh funding, this Houston and Canada-based company has made an acquisition. Courtesy of Validere

After raising $43 million in funding for its series B round, Validere, a commodity management platform for the energy industry, has acquired Clairifi, whose technology helps energy businesses comply with environmental and regulatory requirements. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

The funding round was closed in March and was led by Mercuria Energy and select funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, with participation from Nova Fleet, Pioneer Fund and NGIF Cleantech Ventures, as well as existing investors, including Wing VC and Greylock Partners, according to a news release.

“Validere’s mission is to ensure human prosperity through energy that is plentiful, sustainable and efficiently delivered," says Nouman Ahmad, Validere co-founder and CEO. "We facilitate this through integrating our customers’ core business with new environmental initiatives. In order to manage the energy transition well, environmental attributes cannot be managed in a silo, they need to be integrated in the day-to-day operations and commercial decisions."

Validere is based in Calgary, Alberta, and has its United States presence based in Houston. Clairifi also is based in Calgary. According to the company, the purchase of Clairifi strengthens Validere’s ESG (environmental, social, and governance) offerings.

“Companies across the energy supply chain are often burdened by the arduous task of compliance reporting, a time-intensive process that is usually performed manually in Excel spreadsheets by costly environmental consultants,” Validere says in a news release announcing the Clairifi deal. “These issues are coupled with constantly changing environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies, as well as disorganized data, which can cause confusion over meeting reporting requirements.”

Validere says that thanks to the integration of Clairifi, businesses can easily comply with current and future regulations from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and can access a central platform to accurately measure, manage, and forecast emissions strategies.

“The implementation of costs on carbon and emission reduction requirements introduce new immediate and long-term consequences that cascade from the field to head office,” says Corey Wood, co-founder and CEO of Clairifi. “While regulatory compliance is often considered a burden on industry, requiring resources and continuous innovation, if we are well-prepared, these challenges may be used as catalysts to revive, refresh and improve.”

As part of the acquisition, Wood has joined Validere as vice president of emissions, regulatory, and carbon strategy.

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