Average Credit Score – By Age, State, Year & More
The average credit score in the U.S. is anywhere from 669 to 699. It depends on which credit report and credit-score model are used.
Below, you can learn more about the average credit scores by year, state, age and more. Reviewing these credit score statistics will give you a better sense of how good your credit score is relative to those of your peers. Credit-score averages can also tell us a lot about the health of consumers’ finances and the strength of the economy.
Finally, it’s important to note that while many different types of credit scores exist, the most popular ones all use the standard 300 to 850 credit-score range. They’re also based on the same information – your credit reports – and produce very similar results in most cases, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. So it doesn’t really matter whether an average credit score is based on a VantageScore or FICO model, as long the data is consistent. After all, there isn’t one “real” credit score.
Average Credit Score by Year
The average U.S. credit score can tell us a great deal about the health of consumers and the economy more broadly. That’s especially true when you examine credit-score averages over time.
For example, the average VantageScore credit score improved by 11 points from 2007 to 2015, reflecting our rebound from the Great Recession.
Credit-score statistics tend to be relatively slow to reflect such big economic events, however, making them somewhat unreliable for predictive purposes.
Average Credit Score by Year
Sources: MyFICO.com & New York Fed Consumer Credit Panel/EquifaxGet Your Free Credit Score Now
Average Credit Score by Age
Statistics show that credit scores tend to improve as people age. As you can see from the table below, the oldest people have the highest credit scores, on average. And scores decline by age group all the way to the youngest cohort, which has the lowest average credit score.
The accumulation of wealth and experience over time is the most likely explanation for this. As people age, they also tend to grow more financially responsible and secure, qualities that lend themselves to credit improvement. And the more time you have, the more opportunity there is to recover from mistakes. Another reason is the way credit scores are calculated. The length of your credit history accounts for a significant portion of your score (around 15%), for one thing.
Average Credit Score by Age
Source: Experian 2016 State of Credit
There is not a direct correlation between credit quality and age, though. In 2016, the average person with bad credit was 11 years older than the average person with excellent credit, as the following table shows.
Average Age by Credit Score Tier
|Credit Score Tier||Average Age|
Some people assume that younger folks have lower credit scores because they now face a tougher time obtaining credit due to the CARD Act’s restrictions. But you can still get a credit card when you turn 18. You just need to demonstrate that you have access to enough income or assets to afford the minimum monthly payments, which are usually around $15 to start.
Besides, 56% of college students have been using credit cards as of 2016, according to Sallie Mae, and the average student has three cards.
Average Credit Score by State
The average credit score by state ranges from 642 in Mississippi all the way to 702 in Minnesota. And both states are fairly representative of their broader regions, as you can see below. If you’re wondering, blue states have a higher average credit score (676) than red states (667).
Average Credit Score by Region
|Region||Average Credit Score|
The South has the worst credit, on average (657), whereas the Midwest has the best (680). In fact, four of the five states with the highest average credit scores are in the Midwest. With that being said, every region has at least one state whose residents boast good credit, on average.
So while job opportunities, living costs and other local factors definitely affect credit-score averages, it’s also true that credit scores can flourish anywhere.
Average Credit Score by City
It’s no surprise that The Villages, Fla., an upscale retirement community, has the nation’s highest average credit score (779). As mentioned in the Average Credit Score by Age section, older people tend to have the best credit. Unfortunately, the cities with the lowest credit scores aren’t all that surprising, either. Camden, N.J., (566) and East Saint Louis, Ill., (572) both have long struggled with high crime and unemployment rates.
Below, you can find your city’s average credit score and see how it compares nationally. And in case you’re wondering, the 50 state capitals have a slightly higher average credit score (666) than that of the nation’s capital (664).
Source: TransUnion (VantageScore) See How Your Score Compares - 100% Free
Just to recap, here’s how those city-average credit scores compare to the nationwide average credit score for 2016:
Average Credit Score in the U.S.
|Type of Credit Score||2016 Average|
For your reference, the city averages are TransUnion VantageScores. You can check your latest TransUnion VantageScore for free on WalletHub.
Average Credit Score by Income
You don’t need a lot of money to build a good or excellent 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 by income level.
|Annual Income||Average Credit Score|
|$30,000 or less||590|
|$30,001 - $49,999||643|
|$50,000 - $74,999||737|
Source: WalletHub, 2017
Full Credit-Score Distribution
For those interested in going beyond credit-score averages, the following breakdown of where different groups of people fall on the standard 300-to-850 credit-score scale will give you a better understanding of just how much consumers’ financial experiences can vary. These statistics also show a clear divide between people with bad credit and the rest of us, which underscores the importance of using credit responsibly.
2016 Credit Score Distribution
All columns may not add up to 100% due to rounding.
Ask The Experts
For more insights on what we can learn from credit score averages, WalletHub posed the following questions to a panel of personal finance experts. Check out who they are and what they said, below.
- What can we learn from the average person’s credit score and how it changes over time?
- How responsive are credit score averages to periods of economic distress?
- Why do you think Minnesota has the highest average credit score (702), while Mississippi has the lowest (642)?
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