10 most toxic states for your credit record

  • The Las Vegas Strip, including the Bellagio, the Stratosphere, the Mirage, Wynn, Las Vegas Hilton and Trump Towers, is seen from the air aboard Air Force One as US President George W. Bush departs from Las Vegas McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, Nevada, 31 January 2008. AFP PHOTO/SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images) SAUL LOEB

    (MoneyWatch) People like to think that they're in control of their personal finances -- that if they're responsible about saving and paying their bills on time, they will stay economically healthy. But in truth, your neighbors can have a huge impact on your economic health, says Richard Barrington, senior financial analyst at CardRatings.com.

    When people don't pay their mortgages, short-sales and foreclosures climb, cutting the value of all the houses in the area and making it difficult for you to sell or refinance. When the people in your community bounce checks or don't pay their credit card bills, local businesses go under, taking jobs with them and hiking the unemployment rate. And no matter how economically responsible you are, if you end up unemployed for a long stretch, you could find your finances savaged, too.

    That's why credit card comparison site CardRatings.com ranked all 50 states by their credit conditions. These are the 10 states most toxic to your credit health, based on bankruptcy and foreclosure rates, unemployment, and credit scores.