Research and Statistics

Credit score statistics


How does your credit score compare to the average American’s? Check out the credit score statistics we’ve compiled, including the states with the highest and lowest credit scores, how credit scores change with age and much more

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If you want to know how Americans are doing financially, take a look at their credit scores. Credit scores are key to determining whether you’ll qualify for a mortgage, loan or credit card and how much interest you’ll pay. The higher your score, the more likely you’ll be approved for a favorable loan.

The credit scores of Americans tend to fluctuate over time, with different scoring systems showing slightly different results. FICO scores, the most commonly used model, range from 300 to 850 points. The average FICO score was 699 as of July 2016, up from 696 in October 2015 and 695 in April 2015.1

FICO score grades
FICO scoreGrade
740-799Very good
Lower than 580Poor
Source: FICO

According to FICO, the number of consumers scoring in the super-prime range of 800 or above is growing, and in April 2016, more than 20 percent of the population was in this range – the highest percentage ever since FICO began tracking this metric in 2005.1

VantageScore, the model developed by Experian, TransUnion and Equifax, also shows rising average scores, though they trend a bit lower than the FICO numbers. Like FICO, VantageScores also range from 300 to 850. The average VantageScore in the U.S. in 2016 was 673, up from 669 in 2015.2

However, the average VantageScore rises with age – presumably as consumers build their credit history. Experian’s State of Credit 2016 report found that baby boomers and the Silent Generation (68-85 years old) have scores 700 and above, while Gen Xers averaged a 655 VantageScore, and millennials averaged a 634 score. Gen Z had the lowest score at 631.2

Credit scores vary by geography, too. The Experian State of Credit 2016 report found the highest average VantageScores clustered around the upper Midwest, while the lowest average scores tended to be in the South and West.

Credit scores by state2
Top credit scores
StateAvg. VantageScoreAvg. debtNumber of credit cardsAvg. balance on bank cardsCredit utilization %
Mankato, Minn.708$32,5362.27$4,01124
Rochester, Minn.708$35,9732.27$4,32924
Green Bay, Wis.704$33,0342.22$4,36324
Wausau, Wis.704$31,9752.12$4,14425
Duluth, Minn.703$34,7822.12$4,82526
Sioux Falls, S.D.703$39,2692.27$4,66125
La Cross, Wis.703$32,8952.21$4,22325
Fargo, N.D.703$37,9662.39$4,66125
Madison, Wis.702$35,8152.3$4,54526
Lowest credit scores
StateAvg. VantageScoreAvg. debtNumber of credit cardsAvg. balance on bank cardsCredit utilization %
Greenwood, Miss.622$38,2011.67$4,12537
Albany, Ga.624$38,5801.98$4,78736
Harlingen, Texas631$35,6901.53$4,61835
Riverside, Calif.632$37,6592.21$5,02637
Laredo, Texas635$35,7992.03$4,43636
Monroe, La.639$41,6101.81$4,59633
Alexandria, La.639$38,8631.85$4,61133
Bakersfield, Calif.639$35,1382.06$4,46033
Corpus Christi, Texas639$41,4352.04$5,78136
Shreveport, La.640$41,2041.92$5,12234
Source: Experian


We don’t check our scores … or do we?

Despite the importance of credit, many Americans take a hands-off approach to their credit scores. The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) found that, as of March 2016, 44 percent of adults had not received their credit score within the previous 12 months.3 That percentage, though, is down from 52 percent in 2015.

According to a 2016 survey by the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) and VantageScore, however, only 32 percent of Americans have never obtained a copy of their free credit report, and 16 percent have not received a copy in the last three years. Meanwhile, 32 percent have received a copy in the last year, and another 19 percent have received a copy within the last three years.4

College students are even less involved with their credit scores. According to a 2016 study by Equifax, only 45 percent of college students know their credit score. Most college students (43 percent) believe college is the right time to become knowledgeable about credit scores. Most of those who do check their scores get them from a credit card company or bank (41 percent and 33 percent, respectively), while only 3 percent get them via a paid report from a credit bureau.5

Credit score literacy

A lack of knowledge could be why many people don’t review their scores – and could explain the large discrepancy between polls. The NFCC study showed that about one in 10 people said they didn’t think they needed their credit score because they already had their credit report.3 According to a 2015 American Bankers Association survey, there is widespread confusion about the difference between credit reports and credit scores. In the ABA survey, 44 percent of Americans expressed the mistaken belief they are two terms for the same thing.6 (They’re not: Your credit report is a compilation of credit-related information; your credit score is a three-digit number distilled from the report data.)

The CFA study found more surprising statistics. The majority of respondents did not know that credit scores are used by non-creditors. Only about half (53 percent) know that electric utilities may use credit scores. About two-thirds (66 percent) know that scores may be used by home insurers, cellphone companies (68 percent) and landlords (70 percent).4

Additionally, 38 percent think marital status and 45 percent think age factor into credit scores.4

Credit-card-statistics-road-mapFUN FACT:
A 2016 Bankrate survey found that nearly 4 in 10 adults say knowing someone’s credit score would affect their willingness to date that person. More women (43 percent) than men (32 percent) say a person’s credit would have an impact on their dating interest.8

How Americans describe their credit

While statistics show that many people don’t know their credit scores, that doesn’t stop them from sounding off on how good their credit is. According to a July 2016 report by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), 60 percent of Americans believe they have above average credit, and 41 percent rate their credit as “very good.”7

However, African-Americans and Hispanics were less optimistic about their credit. The FINRA survey found that only 40 percent of African-American and 53 percent of Hispanic respondents reported that their credit was “very good” or “good” in 2016, while 65 percent of white and 70 percent of Asian respondents gave themselves those ratings.7

Younger Americans (aged 18 to 34) are less likely to rate their credit as “good” or “very good,” with only half giving themselves those ratings. Seventy-two percent of those aged 55 and older, however, described their credit in the two highest tiers.7


  1. blog
  2. Experian’s State of Credit 2016 study
  3. 2016 Consumer Financial Literacy Survey by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling
  4. Credit Score Knowledge 2016 Consumer Federation of America
  5. 2016 Equifax College Student Survey
  6. American Bankers Association survey released Jan. 21, 2015
  7. Financial Capability in the United States 2016 FINRA report
  8. Bankrate Money Pulse survey April 2016

See related: Credit card statistics, Credit card debt statistics, Credit card delinquency statistics

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The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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