Personal Finance Insider writes about products, strategies, and advice to help you make smart decisions with your money. We may receive a small commission from our partners, such as American Express, but our reports and recommendations are always independent and objective. Terms apply to offers listed on this page. Read our editorial standards.
- The average American has a credit score of 714, according to data from Experian. It’s considered “good” by FICO score ranges.
- Credit scores are numerical ratings of your borrowing and repayment history, commonly used by banks to determine eligibility for loans and interest rates.
- People over 50 have average credit scores above the national average. Scores in some states, including Minnesota, Wisconsin and Vermont, also tend to exceed the US average.
in the United States is 714, according to credit reporting company Experian, calculated using the FICO scoring model.
Credit scores, which are like a score for your borrowing history, range between 300 and 850. The higher your score, the better – people with high credit scores tend to get better rates interest on loans, have access to credit cards with better benefits and lower interest rates, and might even pay less for insurance.
The FICO credit scoring model classifies credit scores into five categories:
- Very poor: 300-579
- Poor: 580-669
- Fair: 601-660
- Good: 670-739
- Very well: 740-799
- Exceptional: 800-850
Average Credit Score by Age
The average credit score seems very different between age groups. Since credit scores are calculated based on credit and borrowing history, seniors on average have higher credit scores due to a longer borrowing history. Here’s how that breaks down by age group, according to data from Experian:
Average credit score per year
Americans actually have better credit than ever. The average score has increased by about 10 points over the past seven years. Here’s how it grew, according to FICO data from October of each year:
Americans have more consumer debt than ever before, holding a total of $14.3 trillion in debt in the first quarter of 2020. But at the same time, credit ratings are rising. The period from June 2009 to early 2020 became the longest period of economic expansion in the United States and resulted in low unemployment rates. This could have contributed to rising US credit scores, with more people borrowing money and paying their bills on time.
Average Credit Score by State
Finances are very different in the 50 states, and the average credit score is also very different. While Mississippi has the lowest average credit score, Minnesota has the highest credit score at 742. Here’s the average credit score in each US state and the District of Columbia, according to data from Experian.
What is a credit score?
Credit scores are calculated using information about your borrowings, such as the amount of credit you are currently using, the number and types of accounts you have opened, and your repayment history. All of this information is taken from your credit report, which contains a detailed borrowing history.
Everyone has credit scores based on data collected by the three credit reporting agencies: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. There are two methods of calculation, called FICO and VantageScore. Although each uses a slightly different calculation, all scores should be similar.
Your credit score can be found for free online at sites like Credit Karma, or even from some credit card issuers who partner with agencies to give you one (or more) of your scores.
It’s also a good idea to check your credit report regularly. Annualcreditreport.com, a site created by the federal government, will give you access to your report from each of the three agencies once a year. You can check them all at once or check one every few months to keep a close eye on your credit. It’s not uncommon for a report to contain an error which then affects your score, but it’s up to you to find such an error. If you find one, you can dispute it with the agency.
Read more: How to check your credit score
If you have no credit history, it becomes very difficult to borrow and get the best rates in the future. This is why some credit card issuers offer specific credit cards intended to be used temporarily, to build up their credit in the first place. You can see our picks for the best starter credit cards here.