Credit score statistics
Explore average credit scores by state, age group, and year, and discover tips to enhance your creditworthiness.
What is a good credit score?
A good credit score indicates that you are a financially responsible borrower who pays bills on time and manages debt wisely. But what exactly constitutes a "good" score can vary depending on the context.
Is 600 a good credit score?
Ehh, it's okay. Not great, but not terrible either. A credit score of 600 falls into the "fair" credit tier. This means you may face higher interest rates or more limited access to credit compared to someone with a score in the "good" or "very good" range. But a 600 score means you're still considered creditworthy by most lenders. With some effort, you can likely improve your score over time by paying bills on time, lowering balances, and being prudent about new credit applications.
Is 750 a good credit score?
Yes, absolutely! A 750 credit score is firmly in the "very good" credit range, just one tier below the highest "exceptional" category. A 750+ score qualifies you for the best rates and terms from lenders. It demonstrates a long history of responsible credit management. Maintaining excellent credit can save you thousands over your lifetime through lower interest costs. Even going from good to very good credit can make a noticeable difference.
Levels of a credit score rating
The FICO credit scoring model is widely used to assess individuals' creditworthiness and assign credit scores. It categorizes credit scores into six distinct categories to provide a comprehensive overview of an individual's credit standing.
|Credit Score Range
Six distinct categories of credit score (FICO Data)
Average credit score by state
Credit scores can vary significantly across different states. Here's a look at which states have the highest and lowest average credit scores:
Top 10 states with highest average credit score
|Average Credit Score
States in the Upper Midwest dominate the list of highest average scores. Minnesota tops the rankings with an average score of 742. The cold weather states of Vermont, Wisconsin, and New Hampshire also boast average scores above 730. Their populations tend to exhibit prudent financial behaviors like lower debt and timely payments.
Top 10 states with lowest average credit score
|Average Credit Score
Southern states populate the bottom tier of scores. Mississippi has the lowest at 680 - 62 points below top-ranked Minnesota. Other low scoring states include Louisiana, Alabama, Texas, and Oklahoma, all averaging below 695. Lower incomes and higher poverty rates in parts of the South likely contribute to missing payments and higher debt relative to income.
Average credit score by age
The average credit scores vary significantly across different age groups, primarily due to variations in credit and borrowing histories. Older individuals tend to have higher average credit scores compared to younger generations. This can be attributed to their longer credit histories and greater exposure to various credit accounts and financial transactions. As credit scores are calculated based on credit history, the extensive borrowing experience of older people contributes to their higher average credit scores.
|Average credit score
Average Credit Scores by Generation 2022 (Experian Data)
What is a good credit score for my age?
For those in their 20s, a credit score of 670 or higher is great. When you're just starting out, anything above 650 shows you're off to a responsible start with credit.
For your 30s, aim for a score over 700. At this age, you've likely had credit for over a decade and need good credit for major loans.
Once you hit your 40s, get that score over 740 to get the best rates. Mid-career is when earnings potential is highest.
By your 50s and 60s, fantastic credit means 750+. You should be reaping the rewards of long-term responsible money management.
The 700+ club is the goal for most adults. But a credit journey takes time. Be patient, especially when young. The key is developing good credit habits early - like paying on time, limiting hard checks, and keeping balances low. Do that, and your score will rise over time.
Average credit score by year
Even though Americans are dealing with historically high levels of debt, their average credit scores have been steadily improving. In fact, they now have better credit than ever before. Over the past seven years, the average credit score has increased by about 10 points. This positive trend can be seen in the FICO data collected in October of each year.
|Average Credit Score
Average credit score by year (FICO Data)
How to improve your credit score
Improving your credit score in the US requires a proactive approach and consistent financial habits. Here are some key steps you can take:
Pay bills on time: Late payments can have a significant negative impact on your credit score. Ensure you pay all your bills, including credit card payments, loans, and utilities, on or before their due dates.
Reduce credit card balances: Aim to keep your credit card balances low, ideally below 30% of your credit limit. High credit utilization can negatively affect your credit score, so paying down debt can help improve it.
Maintain a mix of credit: Having a diverse credit mix, such as a combination of credit cards, loans, and a mortgage, can positively impact your credit score. However, only take on credit that you can manage responsibly.
Monitor your credit report: Regularly review your credit report to identify any errors or discrepancies. Dispute inaccuracies with the credit bureaus and ensure they are resolved promptly.
Limit new credit applications: Avoid opening multiple new credit accounts within a short period. Each application can result in a hard inquiry, which can temporarily lower your credit score.
Build a positive credit history: Establish a history of responsible credit behavior over time. This includes consistently making payments on time, avoiding maxing out credit limits, and keeping accounts open for a reasonable duration.
Seek professional assistance if needed: If you are facing significant credit challenges, consider seeking guidance from credit counseling agencies or financial advisors who can provide tailored advice and strategies to improve your credit.
Remember, improving your credit score takes time and consistent effort. By adopting these habits and demonstrating responsible financial behavior, you can gradually enhance your creditworthiness in the US.
Charlie Barton is a writer at Unbiased. He has been writing about personal finance and investing since 2017, with extensive knowledge of platforms and products. Charlie has a first-class degree from the London School of Economics.