Average credit score in every state

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Fair Isaac Corp.’s FICO Score and VantageScore are two of the most widely used scoring models in the country. Both models range between 300 and 850 — and the higher the score, the better. The average credit score varies greatly among different populations, ages and income levels, some of which are explored below.

The average credit score in the U.S. is at an all-time high of 711. This coincides with what the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau defines as “prime.”

About 1 in 5 American adults either have no credit history (“credit invisible”) or are unscorable. As a result, these individuals will have difficulty obtaining new lines of credit.

In the eyes of lenders, credit scores fall into several buckets, which indicate how risky it may be to extend credit to an individual. Outside of playing a role in approvals for a loan or credit, these scores can also impact an individual’s lending terms. Perhaps the most important terms among those are interest rates.

The higher an individual’s credit score, the lower their quoted APR will typically be.

FICO credit scores break down in the following manner:

  • 800 to 850: Exceptional
  • 740 to 799: Very good
  • 670 to 739: Good
  • 580 to 669: Fair
  • 300 to 579: Very poor

This means the average credit score of 711 is in the good range.

Though the average credit score has generally improved since 2005, slight dips were seen around the Great Recession that ended in 2009. A large number of people declaring bankruptcy or defaulting on their loans would have caused their credit scores to plummet, which in turn would have affected the overall average.

Average credit score by age
Experian / Value Penguin

Average credit score by age

Millennials (ages 24 to 39) have an average credit score of 680, while baby boomers (ages 56 to 74) have an average credit score of 736.

The average FICO Score tends to improve with age.

The average credit scores coincide with the financial situations facing younger generations. It’s usually around the millennial age range that major expenses and debt begin to rack up — such as weddings and first mortgages, among others. Despite their ages, millennials hold an average of $4,322 in credit card debt.

The other age group whose average credit score skews lower is Generation Z (ages 18 to 23). A contributing factor to this is the limited access to credit this age group faces. Following the 2009 CARD Act, it became significantly harder for 18- to 21-year-olds to open new credit card accounts. As a result, many young adults don’t begin building a credit file until later in life — driving averages down.

Americans of all ages owe debt. In fact, U.S. household debt spiked to $14.35 trillion in the third quarter of 2020 — the latest available data — amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

And that debt is growing while more people remain out of work. The federal unemployment rate was 3.5% in February 2020 before spiking to 14.8% in April 2020. (It’s been dropping but was still at 6.7% in December 2020.)

Median credit score by income
Federal Reserve Bank of New York / Value Penguin

Average credit score by income

The higher one’s income level, the higher their average credit score tends to be.

While debt-to-income ratio doesn’t play a direct role in determining one’s credit score, it does have an indirect one. One of the factors lenders consider when modeling an individual’s credit risk is their credit utilization — the percentage of total available credit a consumer is using month to month.

To improve one’s credit score, credit utilization should generally be kept below 30%. The lower one’s income is, the more a consumer may rely on their credit for their expenditures.

Another way income may play into credit utilization, and ultimately one’s credit score, is by determining one’s credit limit. Credit issuers look at borrowers’ incomes when deciding on the amount of revolving credit that should be issued.

The lower one’s income, the lower their line of credit is likely to be.

In turn, by having significantly lower credit limits, it becomes easier for lower-income individuals to eat up a larger portion of what’s available, increasing their credit utilization.

The graphic belows shows that median credit scores are highly correlated to income.

For context:

  • Low income: Up to 50% of the area median income
  • Moderate income: Greater than 50% and up to 80% of the area median income
  • Medium income: Greater than 80% and up to 120% of the area median income
  • High income: More than 120% of the area median income

Aside from the ability to make monthly payments on time, which may be difficult, people with lower incomes have access to less credit, meaning their credit utilization would be higher with smaller debt. This, in turn, lowers credit scores, which can, in turn, lower credit availability.

Below are the average credit scores throughout the U.S. by ranking.

51. Mississippi

  • Average credit score: 675
  • Average credit card debt: $4,587

50. Louisiana

  • Average credit score: 684
  • Average credit card debt: $5,127

49. Alabama

  • Average credit score: 686
  • Average credit card debt: $5,047

48. Texas

  • Average credit score: 688
  • Average credit card debt: $5,848

Tied- 46. South Carolina

  • Average credit score: 689
  • Average credit card debt: $5,310

Tied- 46. Georgia

  • Average credit score: 689
  • Average credit card debt: $5,693

Tied- 44. Oklahoma

  • Average credit score: 690
  • Average credit card debt: $5,271

Tied- 44. Arkansas

  • Average credit score: 690
  • Average credit card debt: $4,791

43. New Mexico

  • Average credit score: 694
  • Average credit card debt: $4,948

Tied- 41. West Virginia

  • Average credit score:695
  • Average credit card debt: $4,686

Tied- 41. Nevada

  • Average credit score: 695
  • Average credit card debt: $5,422

40. Tennessee

  • Average credit score: 697
  • Average credit card debt: $5,006

39. Kentucky

  • Average credit score: 698
  • Average credit card debt: $4,521

38. Florida

  • Average credit score: 701
  • Average credit card debt: $5,623

37. North Carolina

  • Average credit score: 703
  • Average credit card debt: $5,121

36. Arizona

  • Average credit score: 706
  • Average credit card debt: $5,157

Tied-34. Indiana

  • Average credit score: 707
  • Average credit card debt: $4,651

Tied-34. Missouri

  • Average credit score: 707
  • Average credit card debt: $4,950

33. Delaware

  • Average credit score: 710
  • Average credit card debt: $5,462

32. Ohio

  • Average credit score: 711
  • Average credit card debt: $4,888

31. Maryland

  • Average credit score: 712
  • Average credit card debt: $5,977

30. District of Columbia

  • Average credit score: 713
  • Average credit card debt: $5,671

Tied- 28. Alaska

  • Average credit score: 714
  • Average credit card debt: $6,617

Tied- 28. Michigan

  • Average credit score: 714
  • Average credit card debt: $4,692

Tied- 26. California

  • Average credit score: 716
  • Average credit card debt: $5,120

Tied- 26. Illinois

  • Average credit score: 716
  • Average credit card debt: $5,365

Tied- 24. Kansas

  • Average credit score: 717
  • Average credit card debt: $5,063

Tied- 24. Virginia

  • Average credit score: 717
  • Average credit card debt: $5,992

23. New York

  • Average credit score: 718
  • Average credit card debt: $5,414

Tied-21. Rhode Island

  • Average credit score: 719
  • Average credit card debt: $5,256

Tied- 21. Wyoming

  • Average credit score:719
  • Average credit card debt: $5,182

Tied-19. Idaho

  • Average credit score: 720
  • Average credit card debt: $4,582

Tied- 19. Pennsylvania

  • Average credit score: 720
  • Average credit card debt: $5,080

Tied- 17. Maine

  • Average credit score: 721
  • Average credit card debt: $4,676

Tied- 17. New Jersey

  • Average credit score: 721
  • Average credit card debt: $5,978

Tied- 15. Connecticut

  • Average credit score: 723
  • Average credit card debt: $6,040

Tied- 15. Utah

  • Average credit score: 723
  • Average credit card debt: $4,900

14. Colorado

  • Average credit score: 725
  • Average credit card debt: $5,541

Tied- 12. Iowa

  • Average credit score: 726
  • Average credit card debt: $4,289

Tied- 12. Montana

  • Average credit score: 726
  • Average credit card debt: $4,785

Tied- 10. Hawaii

  • Average credit score: 727
  • Average credit card debt: $5,614

Tied- 10. Oregon

  • Average credit score: 727
  • Average credit card debt: $4,681

9. Nebraska

  • Average credit score: 728
  • Average credit card debt: $4,819

Tied- 7. Massachusetts

  • Average credit score: 729
  • Average credit card debt: $5,141

Tied- 7. New Hampshire

  • Average credit score: 729
  • Average credit card debt: $5,327

Tied- 5. North Dakota

  • Average credit score: 730
  • Average credit card debt: $4,865

Tied- 5. Washington

  • Average credit score: 730
  • Average credit card debt: $5,238

Tied- 3. South Dakota

  • Average credit score: 731
  • Average credit card debt: $4,633

Tied – 3. Vermont

  • Average credit score: 731
  • Average credit card debt: $4,653

2. Wisconsin

  • Average credit score: 732
  • Average credit card debt: $4,376

1. Minnesota

  • Average credit score: 739
  • Average credit card debt: $4,767

This article originally appeared on ValuePenguin.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

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