To check or not to check; that is the question. According to numerous credit score statistics, having a low credit score entails having a (much) harder time getting approved for loans; not to mention that you’ll have to pay exorbitantly high-interest rates as a result.
People, in general, do not yet realize the importance of credit scores and the overall effect it plays on their lives. Yet, like a criminal record, bad credit history is there to stay.
In this article, we’ll provide an answer to the following questions: what is considered good credit, what is the FICO score range, what is the highest credit score possible, and more.
Read on to find out more about the different credit scores, and how to get them!
10 Key Facts & Credit Score Statistics for 2021
- Your repayment history comprises 35% of your FICO score.
- Merely 8.60% of surveyed Americans check their credit score often.
- In 2020, both men and women had an average FICO credit score of 705.
- 21% of Americans have an exceptional average FICO credit score.
- A credit score between 300 and 579 is considered bad.
- Of all US states, Mississippi has the lowest FICO Score.
- Households with low incomes have an average credit score of 658.
- The average credit score has significantly increased in every US state since 2019.
- 54% of Black Americans have a poor, fair, or no credit score at all.
- Asian Americans have the highest average credit score — 745.
General Credit Score Facts and Stats
What is the average credit score among Americans, and how often do they check it?
1. The two credit scoring models used in the US the most are FICO and Vantage.
Essentially, these scoring models use ranges anywhere between 300 and 850.
In a nutshell, the higher the number, the better the credit score. Conversely, lower figures mean you have a poor credit score.
2. Your repayment history comprises 35% of your FICO score.
(Shift Credit Card Processing)
Facts about your credit score indicate that, besides your repayment history, there’s also the amount you owe in debts, which is yet another 30%.
Additionally, the overall length of your credit history accounts for 15%, your new credit counts for 10%, plus, a credit mix entails another 10%.
3. When it comes to your VantageScore, your repayment history accounts for a whopping 40%.
(Shift Credit Card Processing)
Your age and the type of credit are responsible for 21%. The percentage of the credit you’ve used accounts for 20%. The total balances of your debt take another 11%, and your recent credit behavior accounts for 5%. Lastly, your available credit comprises just 3%.
4. In 2020, the US had an average FICO score of 711.
In addition, you will find that the average VantageScore in America was 688.
Yet, exactly how are FICO credit scores rated? Check the list below!
- 300–579 = very poor
- 580–669 = fair
- 670–739 = good
- 740–799 = very good
- 800–850 = exceptional
Overall, it’s safe to say that the US scores are above average.
5. The reported 711 average score is currently an all-time high in the US.
This was an 8 point increase compared to last year, when the average credit score was 703, as per credit score statistics from 2019.
This was also the highest growth since 2016, when the average score increased by merely 4 points compared to the previous year.
6. 731 is the credit score of the average person buying a home in the US.
(ValuePenguin) (Quicken Loans)
Note that if you want to qualify for a mortgage, your minimum credit score will depend on the mortgage type.
For example, FICO and credit score statistics suggest that the minimum score for the conventional loan would be 620. Likewise, if you take the FHA loan (requiring a 3.5% downpayment), you’ll need a score of approximately 500–580 (with a 10% downpayment).
And finally, for a VA loan, you’ll need a minimum FICO score of 580.
7. In 2020, both men and women had an average FICO credit score of 705.
If we make a credit score comparison, for women, this was a one-point increase since 2019. And when it comes to women-owned businesses, in 2020, the average credit score grew from 590 to 597.
At the same time, women-owned businesses had a lower average credit score (by 23 points) in 2020 than male-owned businesses — 597 vs. 620.
8. Merely 8.60% of surveyed Americans check their credit score often.
(The Simple Dollar)
The latest credit score statistics based on a new survey show that 51% of Americans don’t check their credit score, whereas 39.70% do it periodically.
Though, why should one check their credit score so often?
First of all, it can help you with personal loans. Secondly, a regular credit report can help you prevent fraud. Lastly, you can qualify for emergency or personal loans.
9. Credit score statistics from 2020 suggest students need to have a credit score of 748 if they want to be approved for a private student loan.
In fact, a student’s average credit score is 110 more than the average applicant’s credit score (638). To increase the chances of getting a private student loan, you can simply raise your credit score or get a co-signer. Once you are approved, you should explore different ways of paying off the student loan.
Statistics on Credit Score Ranges
What percentage of Americans has an exceptional, i.e., very poor average credit score?
10. 21% of Americans have an exceptional average FICO credit score.
We already mentioned that FICO credit scores are divided into five categories: very poor (300–579), fair (580–669), good (670–739), very good (740–799), and exceptional (800–850).
That said, 21% of Americans have a credit score between 550–800, which is above average.
11. When it comes to the average credit score by age, older people have higher credit scores than their younger counterparts.
The Silent Generation has the highest FICO Score — 758. That’s 84 points more than their youngest counterpart — Generation Z (674 points).
Baby Boomers are second on the list with 736 points, followed by Generation X (699 points), and Millennials (680 points).
12. Households with low incomes have an average credit score of 658.
Stats on the average credit score by income highlight that households with a moderate income have a median credit score of 692. In contrast, medium-income and high-income households have an average credit score of 735 and 774, respectively.
13. In essence, the more someone earns, the higher their credit score will be.
Considering that people with lower incomes get less credit overall, this makes perfect sense.
14. 67% of Americans have a good FICO credit score.
FICO credit score ranges from “very poor,” “fair,” and “good” to “very good” and “exceptional.” Based on the latest data, 16% of Americans have a “very poor” score, 17% have a “fair” score, and 21% have a “good” FICO credit score.
And as previously mentioned, 25% have a “very good” score, whereas 21% have an “exceptional” score.
15. A credit score between 300 and 579 is considered bad.
16% of Americans are dealing with bad, i.e., very poor average credit scores. A bad credit score makes it difficult to take a new line of credit, whereas a fair credit score won’t hinder you as much, but you’ll still have to pay higher interest rates than people with a good credit score.
An 850 credit score will net you the preferable interest rates, and as such, getting a new line of credit will be comparatively easier.
16. 5% of Americans have a very poor VantageScore.
Similarly to FICO, Vantage’s credit score model ranges between 300–850.
That said, 61% of Americans have a fair VantageScore (or better), whereas 5% report having a very poor average credit score (around 300–499 points). In addition, 21% report having poor VantageScore credit (around 500–600 points).
17. When it comes to VantageScore, the percentage of the population with a credit score over 825 is 23%.
Moreover, 38% of Americans have a good VantageScore of 661–780. Conversely, 13% have a fair VantageScore (601–660).
18. People with an exceptional credit score have an average mortgage loan of $200,217 and an average auto-loan debt of $17,990.
Having an exceptional credit score can help you qualify for higher credit limits, lower interest rates, better auto loan terms, better credit cards with various perks and rewards (like free hotel breakfast), and more.
Nevertheless, people that have exceptional credit scores are often victims of identity theft. Therefore it’s essential to check your credit often or start using credit monitoring services.
19. Credit score statistics reveal 44% of surveyed cardholders mistakenly believe that carrying a credit card balance will help them increase their credit score.
Many people don’t understand how credit scores work — hence the many misconceptions.
For example, 22% of the surveyed don’t understand the effects of carrying a credit card balance. 23% are unaware of what would happen if a card gets canceled. Similarly, 26% believe that if they cancel their credit card, it won’t lower their credit score.
Average Credit Score by City or State
Which state has the highest and lowest FICO scores?
20. Of all US states, Mississippi has the lowest FICO Score.
Based on the 2020 data, the states from the Southeast region have the lowest credit scores, starting with:
- Mississippi (675 points),
- Alabama (687 points),
- Louisiana (685 points),
- Texas (688 points), and
- Georgia (689 points).
21. Minnesota was the state with the highest average credit score in 2019 and 2020.
Overall, the Midwest and Northeast parts of the US have the highest FICO scores. As we can see from the stats, Minnesota held first place in 2019 and 2020, with an average score of 731 and 739, respectively.
22. The average credit score has significantly increased in every US state since 2019.
Credit score statistics show Arizona was the state that had the highest growth of 10 points (696 points in 2019 vs. 706 points in 2020).
The same thing happened in the District of Columbia (703 points in 2019 vs. 713 points in 2020), whereas other states experienced a growth of merely 3–9 points.
23. There are 13 US states where 40% of the population has a subprime credit score.
These states include Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia.
24. The stats on the average credit score by a ZIP code indicate that California has the highest mortgage balances.
For example, in 2019, 90210 Beverly Hills had an average mortgage balance of $1,528,236 and a FICO score of 742. Reverse mortgages come into play as well.
Conversely, 90272 Pacific Palisades had an average mortgage balance of $1,074,452 and FICO score of 762, whereas 94022 Bodega had an average rate of $937,110 and an average score of 779.
Average Credit Score by Race and Class
Which race and economic class has the highest/lowest credit score?
25. The “lower class” has the lowest credit score, with an average of just 664.
(Shift Credit Card Processing)
Naturally, the upper class has the highest credit score with an average of 775, while the middle and upper-middle class have an average credit score of 716 and 753, respectively.
26. 54% of Black Americans have a poor, fair, or no credit score at all.
The average credit score in America is lower among Black and Hispanic Americans. Like Black Americans, 41% of Hispanic Americans had poor, fair, or 0 credit score.
In contrast, merely 18% of Asian Americans and 37% of White Americans reported having a poor credit score.
27. African-Americans have the lowest credit score of all races, with an average score of 677.
Statistics on the average credit score by race (2020) imply the Hispanic race group follows suit with an average score of 701.
28. Asian Americans have the highest average credit score — 745.
(Shift Credit Card Processing) (Motley Fool)
Why do Asian Americans have such a high score? First of all, they are 92% more likely to own a minimum of one credit card, and secondly, they are 71% more likely to know their credit scores.
In addition, White Americans have the second-highest credit score among all races in the US — up to 734.
What percentage of the population has a credit score over 800?
Approximately 21% of the population has a credit score of 800+ in the US — hence why this credit score range is considered exceptional.
Not only do people with an exceptional credit score have the opportunity to qualify for better credit cards (with high credit limits and low-interest rates), but they also have other benefits, such as better auto loan terms, cards with rewards, etc.
What percentage of the population has a credit score over 700?
59% of the US population has a credit score of more than 700. This score belongs between the good (670–739 scores) and the very good (740–799) FICO score.
Anything over 800 is considered an exceptional score, whereas anything below 670 is rated fair and very poor.
That said, most Americans have an average credit score between 600 and 750.
What is the average credit score for a 25 year old?
The average credit score for 18- to 23-year-olds is 674 points, whereas the average score for people between 24 and 39 is 680 points; in essence, the older you are, the higher your credit score will be.
For example, 40–55-year-olds have a credit score of 699. 56–74-year-olds have 736, whereas people older than 75 have an average credit score of 758.
What percentage of people fall into the credit score range of good?
Overall, 67% of people in the US have a good average credit score — 25% have a very good score (740–799). 21% have a good score (670–739), and 21% have an excellent score (800–850).
Most people who manage their debt well have a credit score that is considered good. Still, it takes a lot of hard work to reach an “excellent” status.
Is it possible to get a 850 credit score?
Yes, you can. In fact, it’s considered the perfect FICO score and is the highest credit score you can get.
In 2019, merely 1.2% of credit holders in the US managed to have the perfect score of 850. To get it, you have to take a lot of things into account:
- pay your credit card bills regularly
- keep a good payment history
- increase your credit limit
- monitor your credit report often
- apply for credit only when it’s inevitable
What is a good credit score for my age?
Depending on your age group, you should have the following average credit score:
- Gen Z (18–23 years of age): 674
- Millennials (24–39): 680
- Gen X (40–55): 699
- Baby Boomers (56–74): 736
- Silent Generation (75+): 758
In addition, there are other factors that can influence your credit score, such as the state and the city you live in. For example, the Southeast region has the lowest average credit scores, whereas the Midwest and Northeast have the highest credit scores on average.
What is the average person’s credit score?
In the US, the average credit score via the FICO model in 2020 amounted to 711, which falls into the “good” category. Moreover, the average VantageScore was around 688, which is also considered a good score; an 8-point increase compared to 2019.
A credit score can affect a person’s life in more ways than one. Unfortunately, not many people realize this (until it’s too late).
Don’t be that person, and keep a close eye on your credit score!
With the help of our credit score statistics, you should discern the difference between credit score levels, what’s considered good credit, what’s the highest and lowest credit score, the general credit score definition, etc.
So, use this new insight well, stay on the safe side, and keep those debts at bay.