Average Credit Score By Age in the USA
Financial literacyPersonal finance

Average Credit Score By Age in the USA (Plus Everything Else You Need to Know)

Most Americans know that their credit score is important, but many of us don’t know enough about how it’s calculated, what it’s used for, or how to manage it. That’s understandable; after all, most of our schools didn’t provide us with the financial lessons we needed to do our taxes, so why would they teach us about our credit scores? The problem is that there are a lot of people who sign up for credit cards and take out loans, and they don’t appreciate the impact on or importance of their credit score.

The negative fallout from this ranges from increased debt, to missed bills and mortgage payments, all the way up to bankruptcy. Obviously, these are things you want to avoid and as you’re already reading a PocketGuard blog article, we can infer that you’re interested in making smart financial decisions for yourself and your loved ones. If that’s the case, congratulations,   on taking the first step to gaining control of your finances. 

In this article, we’re going to cover everything you need to do about managing your credit score, why this is important, average credit ratings by location and age in the country, and much more. This will provide you with the knowledge required to manage your score and help you take on loans and debt with a sense of stability. Let’s start by reviewing the basics of these scores in the United States.

What is Your Credit Score?

 This score is a figure derived from an examination of your credit report, one that offers a comparative assessment of your creditworthiness according to companies that provide loans and debt-related services. Basically, this means that it is used by companies to decide whether or not they should loan you money,  making it the primary method used in modern consumer loan underwriting. The increased usage and availability of lending made possible by credit scores has not only significantly enhanced lending readiness but reduced costs for American consumers over the last five decades.

Before we had modern ratings available to us, borrowers would have to rely on reports from credit bureaus to assess credit. In the late 1950s, creditworthiness was redefined as an abstract statistical risk by banks through the use of computerized credit scoring, and by 1974, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act outlawed credit discrimination based on factors such as gender, marital status, age, race, nationality, religion, or receipt of public assistance. So your score in fact owes a lot to some of the most important civil rights legislation in American history.

A wide variety of factors are considered while calculating your credit score and the standard is still set by FICO which introduced its first national credit rating system back in 1989. This scheme is still used by the vast majority of major lenders and credit agencies in the United States. While its exact components are supposed to be secret, most factors are publically known, which allows us to understand what goes into your average credit rating.

  • Payment history (35%) –  If you make your payments on a consistent basis then you’re doing a good drop. A drop in your credit score can result from late payments, charge-offs, settlements, foreclosures, repossessions, and bankruptcy.
  • Debt burden (30%) – FICO reports that this section has four distinct metrics, namely your debt-to-limit ratio, the number of accounts with balances, the total amount owed on various account types, and the amount paid down on installment loans.
  • Length of credit history (15%) – The longer your history of borrowing the higher your average credit score is likely to be. That’s why it can be difficult for younger people to get good credit, but more on that later.
  • Credit search history (10%) – This category often causes trouble for borrowers as making frequent requests to borrow can actually lower your credit rating.. These requests are usually referred to as ‘hard pulls.’ It’s best to limit how many applications you make each year.
  • Types of credit (10%) – The different types of borrowing you take out also affect your average credit score. Policies included under this include mortgages, credit cards, loans, payment plans, etc.

Why is Having a Good Credit Score Important?

Your credit rating is important because our entire economy runs on borrowing and it’s difficult to get anywhere in this world without being able to take on at least some debt. Take a moment to think about how many things in your life revolve around borrowing money to pay for them, whether that be your payment plan for your car or your student loans. 

It’s hard to imagine American life without any of these things, right? Even if you aren’t planning on making a major purchase or investment soon, you might in the future, and you’ll need a good credit rating by then.

You can’t assume that you don’t need to worry about having a poor credit score for now as ‘there’s always time in the future.’ Believe us, finances and the economy can always create unpleasant surprises. The longer you don’t have a credit score, or you have a low one that’s persistently the same, the more your ability to borrow will diminish over time.

When it comes to your finances, never leave anything to chance; as the saying goes, never put things off to tomorrow what you can achieve today, and that applies particularly to your credit score. The difference between enjoying financial stability and experiencing consistent financial failure is often found in your credit score, so act to make yours a good one.

If your credit rating is consistently low, then you’ll be leaving yourself at risk of failing to make major financial changes or investments, and you’ll be leaving yourself open to predatory lending practices as well. It’s not unusual for people who can’t take on debt due to their lower average credit scores to sign up for things like payday loans, as well as car payment plans, that charge exorbitant rates of interest, as they have no alternative. It’s also possible that individuals without a credit score could go to loan sharks for money, which isn’t just poor financial sense; it’s also very risky. 

What is a Good Credit Score?

FICO scores people out of 300 – 850, which might seem like an odd range of numbers to work with but it has been accepted as the national norm in the US.  Your   rating will fall into the following categories based on its points:

  • Poor credit: 300-579
  • Fair credit: 580-669
  • Good credit: 670-739
  • Very good credit: 740-799
  • Excellent credit: 800-850

If you’re reading this and worrying that your credit score didn’t match your expectations then don’t worry; we’ll cover more on how to change that later on. We should also add that having a good credit rating is an achievement in and of itself, as it’s a score that will still allow you to borrow for mortgages, loans, etc. in most cases. 

If your credit score is in the highest category, then there’s almost no borrowing or credit card that’s not open to you. If you can maintain this level of rating then you’ll find yourself in the prime category, granting you access to preferential interest rates. This is a great long-term goal for you to aim for!

What is the Average Credit Score in the USA?

So we’ve already confirmed that there are a number of factors that go into determining the average credit scores of most Americans, but how does that change when applied to the real world? Does living in a certain area have a major impact on your rating, and how is your credit score correlated with your level of income? Crucially important for many of our subscribers is the issue of age and how it affects these scores too.

Average Credit Score by Region

As of January 2024, the average national credit rating in the United States was 717, which means that, for the most part, many Americans are doing pretty well at managing their scores. When we look at the individual states, we begin to see an interesting level of regional variation, with coastal states and the Midwest performing the best and southern states performing more poorly. The credit score champion last year was Minnesota with 742, while perennial underachiever Mississippi came in last with the lowest average rating of 680.

There are plenty of reasons why, in terms of average credit scores, the coastal states and the Midwest will perform better than their southern counterparts. It’s no secret that the economies of states down south are struggling after all. 

This is particularly the case in the deep south, in states like Mississippi and Alabama, where poverty levels are significantly higher than the national average. People with greater economic assets are more likely to have higher disposable income, an important factor that we’re going to cover in our next section.

Average Credit Score By Income

The relatively high national average credit score doesn’t tell the whole story; you could always have cash but a poor score after all. According to the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, the average national household income last year was $74,580. They grouped those surveyed into the four following sections:

Income Group Median Credit Score

Low income (relative income less than 50%) 658

Moderate income (relative income 50% to less than 80%) 692

Middle income (relative income 80% to less than 120%) 735

Upper income (relative income of 120% or higher) 774

This correlates with the national average credit score of 717 and highlights that while there are considerable variations in income in the US, most Americans still have access to steady credit. Even those individuals and households in the low-income bracket still qualify as having fair credit. This means that they might not be able to access the best deals, but they have opportunities to borrow and boost their credit as well.

How Does Age Affect My Credit Score?

It’s an often overlooked factor in determining our credit scores, but age can actually play an important role in your ability to access loans.  As we mentioned earlier, the longer your borrowing history, the higher your rating is likely to be, which is great for people who are older but can make it difficult to get on the borrowing ladder for younger people.

As such, Experian’s findings on age and credit score last year should not come as a surprise to you. Here are their findings:

Generational GroupMedian Credit Score
Generation Z (18 – 26) 680680
Millennials (27 – 42)690
Generation X (42 – 58)709
Baby Boomers (59 – 77)745
Silent Generation (78+)761

Older people are less likely to borrow; they’re likely to be homeowners after paying off their mortgages, and with their long credit history, it’s no surprise their scores are so good. The barriers that many young people face in accessing house ownership have a negative effect on their credit, and they’re less likely to enjoy low-interest credit cards as well.

Don’t wait till old age to enjoy a good rating, though; there are plenty of things you can do today to boost your credit score!

How Do You Boost Your Credit Score?

First of all, don’t fret if your rating isn’t perfect, as you don’t have to score maximum points to be able to borrow affordably. Your average score is often enough to secure credit cards, payment plans, etc.

With that being said, boosting your credit rating is a crucial part of improving your financial prospects. There are plenty of things you can do to achieve this, and we’ve decided to consult with experts to find the most useful tips you can implement today.

  1. Monitor your credit utilization

Your credit utilization rate is the percentage of your credit limits that you are currently using. A good rule of thumb is to use no more than 30% of your limit on any card, but the lower the better. The credit utilization of the top scorers is typically in the single digits.

  1. Don’t miss your payments

As we’ve covered, 35% of your credit score is affected by your payment history, so make sure you always make your settlements on time. Failure to do so could negatively affect your score for up to seven years. We recommend that you set up automated payments per month.

  1. Get a builder credit card

A builder credit card is designed for people new to borrowing, so it’s ideal for young people taking their first steps onto the credit rating scale. These cards have low limits and rates of interest and will help you build up your score sustainably.

  1. Sign up for more credit cards

If you open an account with a credit card, then your credit utilization rate will increase, which, in turn, will increase your overall score. You won’t be penalized for opening an account and not using it, and some cards will offer 0% interest periods, so shop around.

  1. Get a consolidation loan
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With a consolidation loan, you can significantly lower your credit usage ratio, which is a crucial factor in determining your credit rating. You’ll use the loan to settle the amounts on your credit cards. Then you should make the change to financial frugality and refrain from using your  your cards. 

  1. Check your credit report for mistakes

This doesn’t happen often but if there are faults on your credit report they can seriously impact your average credit score, so make sure there are no errors. These are often things like mistyped addresses, improperly filed personal information, and old linked accounts.

The First Step to Good Credit is Balancing Your Budget

Making sure your credit score is healthy is all well and good, but you’re not going to be able to do that without stable and well-managed finances. Otherwise, all you are doing is inviting financial disaster. 

The PocketGuard budgeting app is designed to help you control your everyday expenses to ensure that you’re never caught short and that you’ve always got enough money to pay your bills and put some change away. By using our app, you’ll create the foundations of a stable financial future, one where you’ll be able to enjoy a consistently high credit score, allowing you to access prime borrowing options.

It’s easy to sign up with PocketGuard, as all you need to do is create an account and download the app. You’ll be able to start using our system immediately. 

We recommend you also consider our premium version, as you’ll be able to enjoy unlimited custom categories and other benefits that you can use to improve your credit scores. In a short amount of time, you’ll be able to borrow sustainably and sign up for premium credit cards that work for you.


Vlad graduated from National Technical University “Dnipro Polytechnic” in Ukraine. He joined PocketGuard in April 2021 as a customer support manager with strong communicative skills. Vlad is respons...

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