Average Credit Score in America 2020

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Let’s start with the biggest news.

According to FICO.com, the average FICO score in 2020 is 706.

According to Experian, the average credit score in 2020 is 703.

Later in this post, we will explain why is this difference.

The latest data is in, and the average U.S. FICO® Score now sits at 706. Since bottoming out at 686 in Oct 2009, there have been nine consecutive years of increases in the national average FICO Score. Source.

Approximately 21% of Americans had a FICO® Score that fell in the “good” credit score range in the second quarter of 2019, while approximately 58% had a FICO® Score of 703 or greater. Source.

Compiled using the latest information from both FICO and Experian, our study breaks down the data into various subgroupings to provide the most accurate depiction of American consumer credit.

Our studies are always up to date!

Average Credit Score in America 2020: Statistics and Key Findings

According to FICO.com, the Average FICO score in America is 706. After reaching a low-point in 2009, the national average has shown a continuous upward trend over the last eight years.

Approximately 21% of Americans had a FICO® Score that fell in the “good” credit score range in the second quarter of 2019, while approximately 58% had a FICO® Score of 703 or greater.

As of the second quarter of 2019, the average FICO® Score in each age group increased by two points, on average, since last year.

According to Experian, the average credit score in 2020 is 703.

According to Experian data from the second quarter of 2019, people over age 60 had the highest average FICO® Score of 749, a two-point increase from the same time last year.

FICO Scores tend to show a positive correlation with age. Borrowers over the age of 60 have an average FICO score of 747, while borrowers in the 30-39 bracket have a FICO score of 677.

A recent Federal Reserve Study shows single males – ages 21-40 – have higher credit scores than their female counterparts.

Minnesota (709) has the highest Experian Vantage Score, while Mississippi (647) has the lowest.

The number of credit card delinquencies have remained relatively flat.

While the data suggests credit scores tend to increase with income levels, a recent Federal Reserve study says “we find a low correlation between credit score levels and income.”

2019 Update:

Just recently, the Fair Isaac Corporation – issuer of FICO Scores – announced an update to its scoring model. Instead of relying solely on consumer credit history, the new Ultra FICO Score will incorporate other variables such as how consumers manage their checking, savings and money market accounts.

It’s worth noting, if you maintain an average savings account balance of $400 – and have no negative balances within a three month period – it can generate an initial boost in your credit score by as much as 20 points.

Average Credit Score in America 2020: Charts, Graph, Analysis

Before we explain why the data from FICO.com and Experian slightly differ and give you more advanced findings, let’s give you the actual details till 2020.

Historical Average FICO Score, According to FICO.com

The latest data is in, and the average U.S. FICO® Score now sits at 706. Since bottoming out at 686 in Oct 2009, there have been nine consecutive years of increases in the national average FICO Score.

Year: Average FICO Score:
2005 688
2006 690
2007 689
2008 689
2009 686
2010 687
2011 688
2012 690
2013 691
2014 694
2015 696
2016 699
2017 701
2018 704
2019 706
[average_credit_score_in_america_2020_historical_average_fico_score_according_to_fico_com]

Historical Average FICO Score, According to Experian

As mentioned above, the average FICO Score continues to demonstrate a strong upward trend. Bottoming nearly a year after the 2008 financial crisis, the data shows borrowers are becoming increasingly knowledgeable about debt service.

Year: Average FICO Score:
2009 686
2010 687
2011 688
2012 693
2013 691
2014 693
2015 695
2016 699
2017 699
2018 701
2019 703

Historical Average FICO Score Graph

Historical Average Vantage Score

Similar to the average FICO Score, the average Vantage Score shows a parallel – though somewhat delayed – participation in the upward trend.

Sourced from the latest Experian State of Credit Study, the data depicts the average Vantage Score bottoming in 2014, before beginning a slow climb back to the near-highs of 2013.

Year: Average Vantage Score:
2013 681
2014 666
2015 669
2016 673
2017 675

Historical Average Vantage Score Graph

Why The Data from FICO.com and Experian are Different?

Is there a difference between FICO and credit score?

These sites use different algo, which is almost same, that is why the values slightly vary. But as you can see, they are very close. So is there an actual difference between FICO and credit score? We can conclude that:

In a material sense – no.

While FICO consolidates anonymous data from credit bureaus, a Vantage Score is generated from a combination of similar consumer credit filings.

As well, each of their final scores – ranging from 300 to 850 – are calculated use similar model inputs:

  • Payment history.
  • Length of credit history.
  • Types of credit.
  • Credit usage.
  • Recent inquiries.

And as you can see the difference is very low.

Year: By FICO.com: By Experian: Vantage Score:
2005 688
2006 690
2007 689
2008 689
2009 686 686
2010 687 687
2011 688 688
2012 690 693
2013 691 691 681
2014 694 693 666
2015 696 695 669
2016 699 699 673
2017 701 699 675
2018 704 701
2019 706 703

Note! There are many scoring models. They use different also, but their criteria and values are very close. Lenders don’t use same criteria for evaluating your credit risk. Most lenders use FICO, other use VantageScore, other use their own risk criteria.

Here are the most popular scoring models.

Credit Score Range/Scale:
Generic FICO Score 300 – 850
Equifax 280 – 850
TransRisk 300 – 850
VantageScore 1.0 & 2.0 501 – 990
VantageScore 3.0 300 – 850
PLUS Score 330 – 830
Experian National Equivalency Score 360 – 840

But what is much more important is not this small difference.

What is important is that the average credit score continue growing!

Why The Average Credit Score Continue Growing?

The key driver of this trend is the improved consumer financial health that has resulted from the steady economic growth that the U.S. has experienced since the Great Recession. But there are likely several other important factors pushing U.S. consumers’ scores upwards as well.

  • There has been increased consumer awareness around FICO Scores and credit education. Programs like FICO® Score Open Access provides over 300 million consumer accounts free access to the FICO® Score. A recent article pointed out a study by economists at Yale, NYU, and the University of Chicago which found that borrowers who are shown their FICO® Scores are more likely to adopt better credit habits and improve their scores.
  • Negative credit information is being removed from credit files. As covered here, consumers who suffered financial misfortune during the Great Recession have over the past few years had the associated missed payments from that time period purged from their credit file, in accordance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act. In addition, the Fed has highlighted that consumer credit scores in the lower score ranges may have benefited over the past several years from efforts by the Consumer Reporting Agencies to refine collection reporting practices on consumer files.

As a result of these developments, consumer credit profiles and financial health have shown significant improvement since bottoming out in 2009.

The improvement in FICO® Scores is readily apparent when examining score distribution data over the past 10 years. The percentage of U.S. consumers scoring in the lowest score ranges (e.g. <550) has dropped by almost one-third, from 16% in April 2009 to 11.1% in April 2019. Meanwhile, the number of consumers scoring in the super-prime range of 800+ has increased from 18.2% to 22.3% over the same period.

Average Vantage Score by State

Organized from highest to lowest, the average Vantage Score by state ranges from 647 to 709. Even without an identifiable trend, you can still see that 30 states sit either at or above the national average, while the other 21 states (including DC) fall below the 675 mark.

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State: Average Vantage Score:
Minnesota 709
Vermont 702
New Hampshire 701
South Dakota 700
Massachusetts 699
North Dakota 697
Wisconsin 696
Iowa 695
Nebraska 695
Hawaii 693
Washington 693
Connecticut 690
Montana 689
Maine 689
Colorado 688
Oregon 688
New York 688
Rhode Island 687
Pennsylvania 687
New Jersey 686
Utah 683
Illinois 683
Idaho 681
California 680
Virginia 680
Kansas 680
Wyoming 678
Ohio 678
Michigan 677
Missouri 675
Maryland 672
Delaware 672
District of Columbia (DC) 670
Arizona 669
Alaska 668
Florida 668
Indiana 667
North Carolina 666
Kentucky 663
Tennessee 662
New Mexico 659
West Virginia 658
Arkansas 657
South Carolina 657
Oklahoma 656
Texas 656
Nevada 655
Alabama 654
Georgia 654
Louisiana 650
Mississippi 647

Average Credit Score by Age

Age Bracket: Average Credit Score 2018 Average Credit Score 2019
20 – 29 659 662
30 – 39 677 673
40 – 49 690 684
50 – 59 713 706
60+ 747 749

Average FICO Score by Age Graph

It’s more than obvious that how important is your credit score in live. And unfortunately people learn this late.

Like a few of the figures above, the data shows a strong correlation between age and one’s average credit score. And when considering the inputs we outlined at the start, this result is somewhat expected.

Why?

Because most young people have a limited borrowing capacity as well as a limited credit history. Considering FICO models are data driven – a lack of credit usage works against those in the lowest age cohorts.

Conversely, borrowers over the age of 40 – or 30 for that matter – usually have established careers, predictable earnings and carry a significant amount of mortgage debt. The longer duration of credit usage combined with an established repayment history signifies higher creditworthiness in the eyes of analysts.

Average Credit Score by Income

While at first glance, the data shows a positive correlation between income and one’s average credit score, a recent Federal Reserve study cautions not to make too much of the relationship.

After statistically regressing several Mintel/Comperemedia data sets using its proprietary inputs, researchers concluded that, “credit score distributions of high- and low-income consumers are both widely dispersed [and] that income is not a strong predictor of credit scores , or vice versa.”

Technically speaking, the results showed a correlation of 0.27 and an R-squared of roughly 0.08. To feel confident in the linear relationship between two variables, most statisticians want to see a correlation greater than 0.60.

Income Grouping: Percentage of Median Family Income (MFI): Average Credit Score:
Low Income < 50% 664
Moderate Income 50-79% 716
Middle Income 80-119% 753
High Income 120% 775

Average Credit Score by Income Graph

Average Credit Score by Gender

Citing data from a 2016 study, the table below shows men have a higher average credit score than women. While many variables are at play, the main difference between the two is employment earnings.

Men – on average – earn more money than women in the workplace.

Higher average earnings lead to increased borrowing capacity, which seems to result in a higher average credit score.

Income Range ($): Male Average Credit Score: Female Average Credit Score:
35,000 – 54,999 646 634
55,000 – 74,999 651 639
75,000 – 99,999 666 652
100,000 – 149,999 683 671
> 150,000 700 690

Average Credit Score By Gender Graph

Confirming the trend, a recent Federal Reserve study – released June 22, 2018 – compares the average credit score of single males and females within the 21-40 age bracket. The study compiles 10-years of Mintel and TransUnion data to generate its average Vantage Score.

Age: Male Average Vantage Score: Female Average Vantage Score:
21 – 30 768 762
31 – 40 793 785

Average Vantage Score by Gender Graph

As part of their findings, researchers concluded that single women tend to have higher debt usage, longer credit histories, higher debt outstanding, increased use of credit revolvers as well as higher installment loan balances.

The study also concluded that single women are more likely to have payment delinquencies included within their credit history.

Conversely, males tend to exhibit higher rates of bankruptcy.

Average Credit Score by Race

According to a report published by the Federal Reserve Bank, Asians (745) have the highest average credit score, while Blacks (677) have the lowest average credit score.

Race: Average Credit Score:
Blacks 677
Hispanics 701
Other 732
Whites 734
Asians 745

Average Credit Score by Race Graph

Credit Scores and Loan Interest Rates

When applying for a loan, the first step taken by banks and alternative lenders is to check your credit score.

While many other variables are taken into consideration, your credit score plays an important role in determining the loan terms, and most importantly, the cost of borrowing.

Using their own risk-based models, lenders roughly characterize and price borrowers as such:

Credit Score: Expected Interest Rate:
670 – 800+ 5% – 10%
580 – 669 10% – 20%
300 – 579 20% – 35.99%

At the bottom-end of the scale, borrowers with low credit scores often face diminishing prospects when trying to obtain a loan. As a result, payday loans and auto tittle loans – with interest rates as high as 300% to 400% – are usually their only option.

Consumer studies also show:

  • Roughly 20% of people who enter into auto title loans end up losing their car.
  • The average American debt cycle is 200 days.

Credit Scores and Credit Card Interest Rates

Cut from the same cloth, a stable and reliable credit score will also benefit you when it comes to credit card applications. As an unsecured form of borrowing, lenders are wary to extend large credit limits to high-risk borrowers.

As such, maintaining a respectable score will not only lower your annual interest rate – but also allow you to qualify for options with higher minimum balances, lower annual fees and greater rewards as well.

How Credit Score Factors Changed Over The Last 10 Years?

Do you know this graph?

Probably yes. You’ve seen graphs like this one many times.

But now we will dig more into what is behind that and give you more advanced information on how these percentages change over the last 10 years. Here it is.

How We Conducted The Study

Updated to reflect the latest information available in 2020, our study combed through official credit scoring data from Experian, the Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO) and the US Federal Reserve. We also included statistics from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), then summarized our findings to provide the most accurate depiction of American consumer credit.

Conclusion

When analyzing the numbers, you see a clear eight-year upward trend in the average FICO Score. While the average Vantage Score shows a similar trend, the slower climb has kept it from reaching its high of 2013.

When crunching the numbers at the state-level, 30 states sit either at or above the national average Vantage Score, while 21 other states (including DC) sit below the 675 threshold.

When analyzing the data by age, there is a clear correlation between average age and one’s average credit score. While it’s a function of many factors – greater financial earnings, increased debt usage as well as a longer repayment history seem to hold the greatest weight.

On the other hand, income presents a different story.

While the data shows a positive correlation between income and credit scores, a recent statistical study by the Federal Reserve poured cold water on that notion.

All in all though, the average credit score is headed in the right direction.

As borrowers become more educated about their finances and take better care to avoid mistakes of the past – the end result should be a healthier financial system for all parties involved.

Sources

Experian: Credit Score Study

Fico: Average Fico Score

FICO Scores vs. Vantage Scores

Experian: State of Credit

Official FICO Score Data

Federal Reserve Study of Credit Scores and Gender

Federal Reserve Study of Credit Scores and Income

Ultra FICO Score Information

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