What is the Average Credit Score in the US?

It's a common misconception that you only have one credit score. In fact, you have many credit scores. The average credit rating in the United States is 714, according to credit reporting company Experian, calculated using the FICO scoring model. This means that the average American has a good credit score.

However, credit score averages vary by geography and data. For example, while the average credit score in the North is around 728, it is about 30 points lower in all other parts of the country. In addition, 20-year-olds have an average credit score of 679, while 50-year-olds have an average credit score of 60 points higher. Below you can learn more about average credit scores by year, state, age and more.

Examining these credit score statistics will give you a better idea of how good your credit score is compared to that of your peers. Credit score averages can also tell us a lot about the health of consumer finances and the strength of the economy. It's important to note that while there are many different types of credit scores, the most popular ones use the standard credit score range of 300 to 850. They are also based on the same information (your credit reports) and produce very similar results in most cases, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Therefore, it doesn't matter if an average credit score is based on a VantageScore or FICO model, as long as the data is consistent. After all, there is no “real” credit score. Credit scores can tell us a lot about consumer health and the economy in general. This is especially true when you examine credit score averages over time.

However, credit score statistics tend to be relatively slow to reflect major economic events, making them unreliable for predictive purposes. Statistics show that credit scores tend to improve as people age. Seniors have the highest credit scores on average, and scores drop by age group to the youngest cohort which has the lowest average credit score. The accumulation of wealth and experience over time is likely to explain this phenomenon.

As people age, they also tend to be more responsible and financially secure - qualities that lend themselves to improving one's credit score. And with more time comes more chances to recover from mistakes. Another reason for this trend is how credit scores are calculated - length of your credit history represents a significant part of your score (around 15%). The average credit score by state ranges from 681 in Mississippi to 742 in Minnesota - both states are quite representative of their wider regions as you can see below.

The Southwest has the worst average credit (69%), while the Northeast has the best (72%). In fact, seven out of ten states with the highest average credit scores are located in either West, North or New England regions. That said, each region has at least one state whose residents have good credit on average - so while job opportunities, living costs and other local factors definitely affect credit score averages, it's also true that good credits can flourish anywhere. You don't need a lot of money to get a good or great credit score - anyone can do it as long as they spend within their means and always pay their bills on time.

But it's still interesting to see how the average credit score changes based on income level - for those interested in going beyond just averages, here's a breakdown of where different groups of people are on the standard 300-850 scale: Good FICO scores range from 670-739 according to their website; fair scores range from 580-669; very good scores range from 740-799; anything above 800 is considered exceptional. FICO and its competitor VantageScore use this same 300-850 range when making decisions about whether or not to give someone access to certain types of credits and at what interest rate. Experian data shows that FICO scores in the US have grown by about one point each year for the past 10 years - however age and income can indirectly affect one's ability to meet five factors used for determining one's score. Credit checks for making decisions can cause a small temporary drop in your rating; several checks in a short time can add up too.

Factors such as demographics, unemployment rates, poverty levels, education and income can contribute to one's ability to create a high credit score - but it's possible to increase your own if you practice responsible financial behaviors such as paying bills on time and staying well below your limits.

Jeffery Sheinbein
Jeffery Sheinbein

Hipster-friendly food specialist. Certified pop culture geek. Certified music aficionado.