Average Credit Score by Age
Discover how your age and credit score are related and what can be done to boost your credit score beyond your years.
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Do you realize how powerful credit scores truly are?
They can dictate your ability to accomplish serious life decisions. And since the length of your credit history influences your credit score, it’s normal to wonder where your credit score stands among your age group.
Despite most individuals in the millennial generation having good credit, a third of millennials were denied a financial product in 2020. In fact, credit card rejection was most common. Why? Because 2020’s pandemic devastated the economy, which motivated lenders to tighten their restrictions.
By learning what advantages that come with your age—and how to compensate for the disadvantages that come with it—you can attain an optimal credit score that will even impress the tightest lenders. Having good and excellent credit can also help you attain a low-interest personal loan, which can save you tons of money.
Getting approved for a credit card, loan, and/or mortgage is important, and it is even more important to learn how your credit works, which will help you get a competitive rate. In the following, we will review what a credit score is and the different types of scoring systems and then delve into credit score demographics and what they mean for your score.
- Credit Score Overview
- Average FICO Score by Generation
- Average Credit Score by Age
- Gen Z Credit Profile
- Millennial Credit Profile
- Gen X Credit Profile
- Boomers and the Silent Generation
- Average Credit Score by State
- Average Credit Score for a Mortgage
- Raising Your Credit Score
Credit Score Overview 💳
Your credit score lets a lender know your ability to pay back a loan and guides them in determining the interest rate and the amount you’ll need for a down payment. You can qualify for a mortgage with bad credit, but you might be required to throw a lot of money into paying the high interest. Having bad credit can also cause you to have expensive insurance rates, cell phone plans, rental agreements, and utility hook-ups.
Luckily, you can avoid the humiliation of credit rejection by checking your own credit score for free, which will also spare you the penalizing hard check of a potential lender. Checking your own score also shows where you can improve and how you rank compared to your peers.
The overall average credit score is 711, which is considered good. However, when calculating the average credit score by age, the numbers are a little different.
Average FICO Score by Generation
|Generation Z (18-23)||667||674|
|Generation X (40-55)||688||699|
|Baby boomers (56-74)||731||736|
|Silent generation (75+)||757||758|
A FICO score is a credit score based on the system created by the Fair Isaac Corporation. Depending on the value, a FICO score ranges from very poor to exceptional.
|Credit Score||Rating||% of People||Implications|
|300-579||Very Poor||16%||Difficult to find credit. If credit is awarded to people in this range, they often need a down payment or deposit.|
|580-669||Fair||17%||Subprime. Borrowers might qualify for certain loans, such as FHA loans, but will be required to have a downpayment.|
|670-739||Good||21%||Unlikely to default. Only 8/100 people in this range default on a loan.|
|740-799||Very Good||25%||Safe bet. People in this range get the benefits of competitive interest rates and loan agreements.|
|800-850||Exceptional||21%||Best bet. People in this range qualify for low interest rates, flexible loan agreements, and have the power to renegotiate previous loans and lines of credit.|
Unfortunately the number of likes you received on your latest FinTwit post won’t help your FICO score. FICO calculates your score by examining various factors, and each factor has a different level of influence. FICO weighs payment history on loans and debt burden more than credit history, types of credit, and recent credit searches.
Who Uses FICO Scores?
FICO scores are used to make approximately 90% of the lending decisions in the United States, so it pays to have a good credit score. Once you achieve good credit, you can qualify for a number of loans, directly online.
VantageScore is a credit scoring system that was created by the three largest bureaus Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Similar to FICO, VantageScore determines whether a borrower’s credit is very poor, poor, fair, good, or excellent.
|Credit Score||Rating||% of People||Implications|
|300-499||Very Poor||5%||Credit challenged. People in this range will be unlikely to qualify for credit.|
|500-600||Poor||21%||Subprime. People in this range typically qualify for some credit with a down payment or deposit.|
|601-660||Fair||13%||Subprime. People in this range will qualify for credit but with high interest rates and hefty down payments.|
|661-780||Good||38%||Safe bet. People in this range get the benefits of competitive interest rates and loan agreements.|
|781-850||Excellent||23%||Best bet. People in this range qualify for best personal loans and mortgages and get flexible loan agreements and the power to renegotiate previous loans and lines of credit.|
The factors VantageScore uses to calculate credit scores are similar to those used by FICO. However, VantageScore has slightly different factors with notably different weights. Total credit usage, balance, and available credit influences a VantageScore more than other factors, such as the age of credit.
Who Uses VantageScore
VantageScore is used by personal loan companies, mortgage companies, car loan lenders, credit card issuers, and other major and minor players in the finance world, such as credit unions and property managers. In other words, you want to achieve a good or excellent VantageScore to qualify for the top personal loans and the like.
Average Credit Score by Age 📊
The average credit score by age is a positive correlation. As people get older, their credit score typically gets higher.
The correlation is not necessarily a result of older people making better financial decisions. Older people have had more time to open accounts and keep them open, and they have also had more time to cross major milestones such as career promotion and asset acquisition.
Gen Z Credit Profile ✅
Many people remember acquiring their first credit card because it is a rite of passage that ushers the account holder into adulthood. Not only does the primary account holder have to be 18 years old but taking on the responsibility of credit also typically coincides with leaving the nest for college.
Card issuers know the risk of extending credit to young adults who will likely spend more time gaming and streaming than attending class, especially in the wake of COVID-19, which is why there are stricter approval criteria for 18,19, and 20-year-olds. Credit applicants under the age of 21 need to show pay stubs or something similar to prove they have a source of income.
There might be fewer restrictions for applicants who are 21 and older, but it can still be a challenge to obtain a credit card or a loan with little or no credit history. This is why young people need to build up their credit, which will assist them in landing the best deals (and save a ton of money on interest in the process).
Student loans can help build credit, but the pandemic has deterred many from going to college. And if they are like the generations before them, namely millennial and Gen X, heavy student loan debt can be a hindrance to their financial prosperity.
Millennial Credit Profile 🔎
Millennials shirked tradition in unique ways, but as this generation gets older, they are taking on more debt but keeping up with their payments and trimming their credit utilization ratio, which makes millennials’ credit score, debt and credit card usage look strong. Their 11-point bump in their average credit score is impressive, particularly due to the circumstances of 2020, but millennials need to continue being vigilant to keep and raise their score.
Although a third of millennials were denied a financial product in 2020, that is still fewer than in previous years. However, there is often a lag between economic downturns and the toll they take on people’s credit score.
Gen X Credit Profile 🗂
Like all generations, the “Nevermind” generation got a bump in their credit score, but it is still not ideal. Gen Xers have a credit utilization ratio above 30%, carry a lot of debt, and make late payments. Gen Xers are not boomers as much as they are late bloomers with a credit score average closer in range to millennials and Gen Zers than older generations.
Gen X’s less than ideal credit score has also been influenced by factors beyond their control, including the rising cost of college tuition, a labor market that requires a degree, the 2009 housing crisis, and several recessions. Gen X is the first generation to not do better than their parents, which is one of many ways they have changed the American dream.
On the upside, since Gen X is the middle child of generations, they have been forced to be the most financially responsible generation. Because this generation has been so responsible, they will likely follow in the steps of the generations before them and continue improving their scores with age.
Boomers and the Silent Generation 👴🏼
Baby boomers and the silent generation have the highest credit scores, although boomers carry the second-largest debt burden and have a credit score 22 points lower than the generation before them. Boomers’ ability to have a lot of debt and a better-than-average credit score is a testament to their ability to manage their finances.
The silent generation has the highest credit score not only because they have had the longest time to build their credit, but also because they have made good decisions. They have fewer credit cards and a lower credit utilization ratio.
Both generations have retired or are near retirement, which is a time when it is important to continue monitoring credit. Closing accounts or co-signing for a wayward Gen Zer can hurt your credit and prevent you from getting a personal loan.
2020 State of Credit Findings
|2020 Findings by Generation||Gen Z (ages 24 and younger)||Millennials/Gen Y (ages 25 to 40)||Gen X (ages 41 to 56)||Boomers (ages 57 to 74)||Silent (ages 75 and above)|
|Average 60–89 days past due delinquency rates||1.00%||1.50%||1.80%||1.20%||0.70%|
|Average 30–59 days past due delinquency rates||1.60%||2.70%||3.30%||2.20%||1.20%|
|Average 90–180 days past due delinquency rates||2.50%||4.40%||5.30%||3.20%||1.90%|
|Average number of retail credit cards||1.64||2.1||2.59||2.63||2.21|
|Average number of credit cards||1.64||2.66||3.3||3.45||2.78|
|Average revolving utilization rate||30%||30%||32%||24%||13%|
|Average retail credit card balance||$1124||$1871||$2353||$2100||$1558|
|Average credit card balance||$2197||$4651||$7718||$6747||$3988|
|Average non-mortgage debt||$10942||$27251||$32878||$25812||$12869|
|Average mortgage debt||$172561||$232372||$245127||$191650||$159517|
Average Credit Score by State 🌎
Like other demographic factors, where you live can influence your credit score. The state with the highest credit score is Minnesota, while Mississippi has the lowest credit score.
|States With Highest Scores||Credit Score||States With Lowest Scores||Credit Score|
How Credit Score and Income Are Related 💡
Similar to the relationship between age and credit score, income and credit are also correlated. Those with the lowest income, which is 50% less than the median, have the lowest credit score. Those with the highest income, which is 120% over the median, have the highest credit score. In short, the average credit score based on income is as follows:
- Low income: 664
- Moderate income: 716
- Middle income: 753
- Upper income: 775
The Average Credit Score for a Home Loan 🏘
If you’re getting ready to buy a home, consider that the average credit score of those who buy homes in the U.S. is 731. Washington DC ranks the highest, with the average credit score for a home loan being 754, while Alabama ranks at the lowest with 713. But don’t feel discouraged if your credit is below average. There are steps you can take to quickly boost your credit score.
Credit Scores During COVID-19 🦠
COVID-19 drastically changed the financial landscape, and despite relief efforts such as mortgage forbearance options, pausing student loan payments, and credit card hardship programs, many people not only took on more debt in 2020 but they took on high-interest debt.
While some people tapped into their retirement or used credit to keep up with their rent and utility payments, 9.4 million renters owe an average of $5,586 in back pay. In either case, the forecast is depleted savings and ruined credit at best, homelessness at worst.
In addition to federal assistance programs, there are state assistance programs that can help those in financial need. Knowing a bit more about these programs can help you prioritize your debt payments, which can preserve your credit score.
Keeping perspective is also crucial. We are in a global pandemic, after all, and those who took the biggest hit must focus on meeting their basic needs. In other words, don’t sweat your credit score if you are in survival mode.
Raising Your Credit Score 📈
You can improve your credit score by addressing key determining factors used to calculate your score. The following is a list of the key factors and how to address them:
- Payment History: Be sure to make payments on time.
- Utilization Rate: Keep balances low and the amount of available credit high.
- Credit History: Keep accounts in good standing for long periods of time.
- Credit Mix: Use revolving and installment credit.
- Recent Inquiries: Avoid hard credit checks by keeping applications to a minimum.
Be sure to monitor your credit in case there has been a reporting mistake such as a mislabelled payment. If a mistake has been made, you can remove the error yourself or hire a local credit repair agency to help you.
Even though doing all of these things will undoubtedly help your credit score, there are ways to go about this faster. Not all credit factors are valued to the same extent, so if you want to make a difference as soon as possible, you should consider focusing on the big ones first.
If you just pay everything on time, even if it’s through consolidating your debt, your rating should be very healthy. After that, just cut down on the amount you owe and your credit utilization, and keep it up for a few years—that takes care of almost everything, and the rest of the factors are minor in comparison.
FICO Major Factors
|Payment History||Amounts Owed||Length of Credit History||Credit Mix||New Credit|
VantageScore 3.0 Major Factors
|Payment History||Credit Age and Credit Mix||Credit Use||Balances||Hard Checks|
What is a Perfect Credit Score?
850 is a perfect credit score for both FICO and VantangeScore. Although not impossible to achieve credit perfection, few people do. About 1% of those reported on FICO have an 850 score, and there are even fewer with perfect credit reported by VantageScore.
What is a Good Credit Score to Buy a House?
For most conventional loans, a borrower needs a minimum credit score of 620. For unconventional loans such as an FHA loan, a borrower needs a minimum credit score of 500.
Why is My Credit Score Low After Getting a Credit Card?
The hard credit check that was required to open a credit card likely caused your score to lower. But don’t worry, this is usually temporary.
What Credit Score is Needed to Buy a Car?
A credit score of 660 is good for buying a car and ensuring your interest rate is at or below 6%. It is possible to get a car loan with a lower score, but you’ll pay for it with higher interest.