Last Updated: September 8, 2021
When looking at the most recent credit score statistics, we can safely say that most people have good credit. Or they are at least within the ‘good credit score’ range on the FICO range.
But credit scores can get confusing. Most applicants often wonder how they’re calculated.
What does each score mean? Is there a grade assigned to each score range?
Don’t worry! We’ve got ya!
FICO is the most common ranking used to determine whether you have good or bad credit. As we said, the majority of Americans fall within the good range.
So that’s good news!
Have some stats to clear the fog:
Credit Score Statistics (Editor’s Pick)
- Generation Z has the lowest FICO score — 674 on average.
- 16% of Americans have a very poor credit score.
- 21% of Americans have an exceptional credit score.
- In 2020 the national average FICO score reached 711.
- Americans had the lowest credit scores on average in 2009 — 686.
- Minnesota has the highest average FICO credit score — 739.
- Mississippi has the lowest average score of 675.
You can compare your scores with your peers by looking at the average credit score by age. The reason why it is better to compare your score with your peers rather than with older generations is that there are some additional factors that can affect your score. We will get to that later.
First things first, though. In order to compare your score, you need to first find out what your score is. The worst time to find out your score is when getting denied for an application.
You really, really, really don’t wanna face this situation.
So take the initiative to find out whether you have good credit or bad credit and compare your score by looking at stats showing the credit score percentile by age, state, and year.
Average Credit Scores by Age
As you age, your credit score should grow with you. So let’s take a look at the average scores depending on age:
1. Generation Z has the lowest FICO score — 674 on average.
Not surprisingly, the youngest generations have the lowest credit score on average. They will catch up, though. Negative information doesn’t stay on your credit report forever. So, if you have a bad credit score by the age of 30, rest assured that by the time you’re 40, some of that negative information will be removed.
Most of it should be removed after seven years have passed. However, certain data points such as bankruptcy can stay for up to ten years. Late payments, missed payments, student loan defaults, foreclosures, and other information affecting your score will most likely be removed.
2. Millennials have an average FICO score of 680.
As we mentioned, a credit score can improve over time if you are set on it, that is. A simple way to do that is to make sure that you are paying for everything on time. Your payment history is one of the most important factors when it comes to calculating your score. Recently missed payments are worse for your score than delinquencies from more than a decade ago.
On the FICO score range, your credit score will be represented by a number between 300 and 850. Americans with a score of 680 have a good credit score. In fact, any score in the range of 670–739 is considered a good credit score.
3. Generation X has an average credit score of 699.
A score of 699 is in the same range as 673 and it’s generally considered a good score. As we can see, this confirms that there’s a trend of increase in the average FICO score by age.
Another factor that has an effect on your FICO score is the debt level. For people in their forties, the major sources of debt are mortgages and credit card debt. For millennials, the major source of debt is student loans. As you pay off your debts, your credit score will improve.
The other debt-related factor that can bump you up to a good credit score range is credit utilization. The recommended ratio of credit card balance to credit limit is less than 30%. For example, if your credit card limit is $1,000 and if you have a balance of $300, then your credit card utilization rate is 30%. fauto
4. Baby Boomers have a credit score average of 736.
If your credit card is awful right now, just give it time!
Of course, you shouldn’t just sit around waiting for it to improve. You can do something about it.
Payment history and the debt owned do affect your score the most. But! The length of your credit history can bump you up or down on the credit rating scale too. This factor accounts for 15% of your score. The longer you have had the account for, the higher the score, as it means that you have an established history of credit. So, if you have an older account, it is better to leave it open. Likewise, it is not recommended to frequently open and close new accounts.
5. The average US credit score for the silent generation is 758.
Americans older than 75 have a very good average score. They’re very close to the exceptional score, owing to their long credit histories and usually good repayment histories.
So, what can you do to get into the two highest credit score ranges? What is it that helps older people have a higher score?
Well, the mix of credit also plays a role in your overall score. It accounts for 10%, to be more exact. A mix of credit means having different forms of credit, such as student loans, auto loans, mortgages, or various credit cards. And as you get older, it is natural to have a mix of credits.
Credit Score Rankings by Percentage of People
We already say that older Americans have higher scores. But what percentage of people have good or exceptional scores?
Let’s find out.
6. 16% of Americans have a very poor credit score.
When it comes to credit scores, one of the most common questions is: How many people have bad credit? And the answer is 16%.
While this isn’t a negligible score, there are more people with exceptional scores than there are with a very poor credit score.
Having a score ranging between 300–579 means that you have bad credit. So, what does this entail? Well, for starters, it means that you probably won’t be approved for any loans. You would be considered to be a high-risk borrower.
You can find out more about the side effects of having poor credit by looking up some bad credit statistics. Spoiler alert: the interest rates are higher, insurance premiums are higher, deposits are required. It generally negatively affects your financial future.
7. 17% of Americans have a fair credit score.
People with a fair credit score fall within the range of 580–669 on the FICO score scale. And while it is a separate category from very poor credit, it is still among the lowest credit score grades.
So, what does it mean to have a fair credit score? You would be considered a subprime borrower, likely to default. You might not get approved for a loan, and if you do, the interest rates will be quite high.
But, don’t despair!
When we looked at the average credit scores by age, we found that they definitely improve over time! If you make sound financial decisions, of course. The most important thing is to get closer to a score of 670.
8. 21% of Americans have a good credit score.
And here it is – the threshold. Having a score above 670 means that you have good credit. The credit scores range for a good score is between 670–739. While only 21% of Americans have a good credit score, 67% have a score that is higher than 670. But we will get to those with exceptional scores later!
So why is it good to have a score higher than 670? What are the advantages? The main and most important one is that you are more likely to be approved for loans. While the range between 670–739 isn’t the best credit score, it is still considered good. So it has its perks.
Remember those high interest rates and deposits we mentioned? Well, you will be happy to hear that having a good credit score means that your interest rates will be lower. You will probably avoid those deposits altogether.
9. 25% of Americans have a very good credit score.
If we were to look at a credit score distribution chart, we would notice that the majority of Americans fall within the 740–799 FICO range.
And that is a good thing!
This is the second-highest credit score range. It is certainly achievable. According to most credit score statistics, the national average FICO credit score is between 700 and 710. Having a score within this range means that you have an above-average score.
So, what does it mean when your credit score is very good? It means that if you apply for a loan, you are more likely to get approved. If you are within the higher credit score brackets, you will probably get better rates than those with a lower score.
All the more incentive to improve your score!
10. 21% of Americans have an exceptional credit score.
Credit score ratings can get confusing, and many people are wondering: what is an excellent credit score?
Well, wonder no more! We’ve got the answer.
An excellent or exceptional score is one that falls within the 800–850 range on the Fico score ranking. And if you have an exceptional credit score, you will probably be one of the top applicants. However, a high credit score doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be approved for every loan you apply for. You can still get denied, though the chances are lower.
And what percentage of the population has a credit score over 800? According to Experian, it is 21% of Americans. We already mentioned that the percentage of Americans having a good credit score is close to 70%. But if you want to be a part of the excellent credit club, you should start working on improving your credit score as soon as possible.
The National Average Credit Score Over the Past Decade
During the past decade, the average score reached an all-time high as well as low.
Let’s check out the changes in the national average during the decade!
11. In 2020, the national average FICO score reached 711.
(Source: My FICO)
To find out if you are on the right track with your credit, there is one question you need to ask: what is the average American credit score?
According to the latest data, that number reached 711 in 2020. It has been increasing steadily during this past decade.
Experts believe that this can largely be attributed to steady economic growth. However, people’s interest in their scores has also increased. Namely, more and more people are checking their credit reports and are actively trying to improve their scores.
It’s safe to say that Americans are now the closest to an 810 credit score. This is considered by many to be the ideal FICO score. It’s so close to the perfect score of 850 that it barely makes any difference.
12. The average credit rating in April 2019 was 706.
(Source: My FICO)
In April 2020, the average score reached 708. Exactly two years before it was 704. In 2017, the average scores for April and October were 700 and 701, respectively. This clearly showcases the gradual increase over the last several years.
13. The national average credit score in April 2015 was 695.
(Source: My FICO)
In April 2015, the average score for Americans was 695. It increased to 696 in October of the same year. This trend continued in 2015 too. According to FICO, in April 2016, the score averaged 699 in both April and October.
14. In April 2012, the national credit score averaged 690.
(Source: My FICO)
So, what is an average credit score? Well, it varies depending on the year.
For example, in order to have a higher score than most of your peers in April 2012, your score had to exceed 690. And in October of the same year, the national average was a bit lower — 689.
As for 2013, the average increased in April and reached 691. However, it went down again by one point in October 2013.
15. Americans had the lowest credit scores on average in 2009 — 686.
(Source: My FICO)
The average credit scores in America were lowest in 2009 — 686 in October and 687 in April. Taking into consideration the financial crisis in 2008, this was to be expected. However, steadily, Americans have been improving their credit scores during the decade. From October 2009 until October 2019, the score has risen steadily, finally reaching 706 on the FICO scale.
Credit Score Statistics by State
The average score varies by state. We will look at the national average of each state to see which states have a lower or higher than average score.
16. Minnesota had the highest average FICO credit score in 2020 — 739.
FICO score statistics have shown that Minnesota is the state with the highest national average on the FICO score scale, reaching 739. This marks a six-point increase from 2019, when Minnesota’s score averaged at 732.
The states closest behind this score are Vermont and Wisconsin. Both have an average FICO credit score of 732. They increased by six and five points, respectively. Washington and South Dakota also have a high national average FICO score of 731.
17. The state of New Hampshire has an average score of 730.
All states have increased their average credit scores in the past year, and New Hampshire is no exception. The average in 2019 was six points lower than in 2020.
New Hampshire also has a similar average credit score of 724. But this only represents a two-point increase when compared to the year before.
Hawaii, Massachusetts, Nebraska, and Washington all have an average of 723. The score has increased by one or two points from 2018 to 2019 for these states.
18. California has a FICO score average of 717.
California’s score has increased by nine points compared to 2019. The state average falls within the good credit score range.
States with a similar score are Alaska and Illinois. Alaska’s average increased from 707 to 714 this year. Illinois’ score changed from 709 to 716.
19. Florida has an average FICO score of 694.
Speaking of states whose average credit rating hasn’t increased or decreased since 2018, Florida has a steady score of 694.
The averages in Iowa, Oklahoma, and Texas have also remained unchanged at 720, 682, and 680, respectively.
20. Mississippi has the lowest average score of 675.
The state of Mississippi can use some tips on how to improve the average score. They have the lowest average.
According to some credit repair statistics, almost half of the people who worked with credit repair services for more than six months improved their score. So, maybe it is time for some professional help to boost that average.
The state with the second-lowest average is Louisiana. And Lousina’s score of 685 is ten points higher than that of Mississippi.
Is There a Way to Improve Your Score?
Your credit score isn’t set in stone and this fact is made obvious by looking at the average credit scores by age. As you have probably noticed, it is possible to improve your credit by changing your habits and waiting it out.
The first thing you can do to improve your score is to pay all your financial obligations on time. As we mentioned, the most recent late or missed payments affect your score more than older delinquencies.
The second thing you can do is try to pay out as much of your debts as you can. The debt to income ratio is important when applying for loans. And according to credit score statistics and credit scores by age, people older than 60 have the best credit. We can only assume that they have paid off their mortgages and other debts. So, their debt-to-income ratio is higher.
Another thing you can do is lower your credit utilization ratio. Also, try to keep old credit accounts (if the fees aren’t too high for your budget).
And finally, take a look at your credit report to see where you are losing points the most. Check for any errors that you can dispute and have them removed from your report.
That’s all, folks. Keep an eye on your score, be smart about your spendings, and it will all work out just fine!