Earning a high credit score can open doors -- literally.
Americans with good or excellent credit scores have an easier time qualifying for mortgages, renting apartments and finding lower interest rates for all types of loans.
Credit scores between 690 to about 720 are considered good, while people with scores above 720 to the maximum of 850 are viewed as excellent borrowers. While individuals receive their own credit scores based on their history with handling debt, certain types of credit scores tend to cluster by ZIP codes, according to recent research by Credit Sesame.
That often correlates with income, said Stew Langille, chief strategy officer at Credit Sesame. Residents in towns with lower median household incomes tend to suffer from lower credit scores, which can make borrowing more expensive for them. The flip side of the coin are higher-income towns, where Credit Sesame found residents have correspondingly higher credit scores.
There's another link, as well: education, Langille said.
"Areas that have higher education levels as well as higher income levels have higher credit scores," Langille said. "Those with post-doc educations tend to be more responsible and more aware of credit. There's a very high correlation with education level and credit score."
Of course, higher education and income are also linked, in that college graduates generally earn much heftier incomes than those with only high school educations.
The American towns with the highest credit scores tend to be clustered in California, which claimed six slots on the list.
Read on to learn more about the cities whose residents have the nation's highest credit scores.