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Study: Hartford area considered good place to make a fresh start

BY

2/22/2018
PHOTO | HBJ File
PHOTO | HBJ File
The city of Hartford.
The Hartford metropolitan area is ranked the fifth best place to make a fresh start in the U.S., according to a new study by online personal finance network LendingTree.com.

The study looked at the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. and weighed eight variables, including conditions for a financial recovery, opportunities for people over 35 and how quickly credit scores rise after bankruptcy. The goal was to determine which cities would most likely give someone the boost they need to start a career or build their finances from scratch.

Hartford - like Buffalo, N.Y., which is ranked first - has the highest average credit score three years after bankruptcy (664). About 93 percent of residents between the ages of 35 and 64 have health insurance, which is the fourth highest among the cities reviewed. The median income is the seventh highest at $71,379.

"Those superlative results and lack of bottom-of-the-barrel results leapfrog Hartford to the no. 5 spot on the list," LendingTree reports.

Other subpar results for the Hartford region include Connecticut's "C" grade for debtor protection from the National Consumer Law Center, which is slightly below the "B-" average for the cities in the study. The Hartford area also has a 5.8 percent unemployment rate for residents over 35. Average rents also are "a bit high" at $1,028, LendingTree notes.

Ranking behind Buffalo and ahead of Harford in the study are: No. 2, Minneapolis, Minn.; No. 3 Salt Lake City, Utah; and No. 4, Austin, Texas. Birmingham, Ala., was ranked last.