What is an Average Credit Score?
Harrison Pierce is a writer and a digital nomad, specializing in personal finance with a focus on credit cards. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a major in sociology and is currently traveling the world.Read full bio
At a Glance
Credit scores are an important financial metric. Whether you have a poor score or an exceptional one, it is crucial to consistently check your report to identify areas where you can improve. However, many people wonder what is considered an average credit score.
The most commonly used scoring system in the U.S. is the FICO scoring system, which ranges from 300–850. A score of 600 or below would be considered a poor credit score, while a score of 750 and up would be deemed excellent. There’s no “average” category on the FICO model, but generally speaking, a credit score in the 650 to 699 range is average.
In this article, you’ll learn:
Is the average credit score in the U.S.
What is considered an ‘average’ credit score?
The most commonly used credit score range is 300 to 850, with higher scores indicating better creditworthiness. An ‘average’ credit score is typically considered to be in the range of 650 to 699.
However, it’s important to note that the definition of an ‘average’ credit score can vary depending on the credit scoring model and the lender’s specific requirements. For example, some lenders may consider a score of 700 or above to be ‘good’ credit, while others may consider scores in the 600s to be sufficient. Additionally, some credit scoring models may have different ranges or scoring criteria, affecting how a person’s creditworthiness is evaluated.
Related: Credit Score Ranges
Average credit score in the US
Average credit score by state
Average credit score by age
Average credit score by income
How can having average credit affect you?
Having an average credit score, typically between 600 and 750, can affect you in several ways:
- Loan and credit product eligibility: With an average credit score, you may still qualify for some credit products, like credit cards or personal loans, but you may not be eligible for the best interest rates and terms. You may also have more difficulty qualifying for larger loans, like a mortgage, or some types of credit, like certain rewards credit cards.
- Higher interest rates and fees: If you qualify for credit products with an average credit score, you may be offered higher interest rates and fees than someone with a higher credit score.
- Housing and job applications: Some landlords and potential employers may review credit scores as part of the application process. An average credit score may impact your ability to secure housing or employment.
- Security deposits: Utilities and other service providers may require security deposits from customers with average credit scores, which can be an additional financial burden.
How to improve your average credit score?
To improve an average credit score, there are several steps you can take:
- Make on-time payments: Payment history is one of the most significant factors in determining credit scores. Make sure to pay your bills on time to avoid late payments or defaults.
- Reduce credit utilization: Keep credit utilization – the amount of credit you’re using compared to your credit limit – below 30%. High utilization can negatively impact credit scores.
- Check credit reports: Regularly checking credit reports can help identify errors or fraudulent activity that may negatively impact credit scores.
- Maintain credit accounts: Keep old accounts open and in good standing to show a longer credit history and improve credit utilization.
- Limit credit inquiries: Too many credit inquiries can hurt credit scores. Be cautious about applying for new credit.
Related: How to Improve Your Credit Score?
A good credit score is typically considered to be a credit score of 670 or higher. This is based on the most commonly used credit scoring models, like FICO and VantageScore. Having a good credit score can make it easier to qualify for credit products, like loans and credit cards, and may also result in better interest rates and terms. However, the specific credit score required to qualify for credit products and the interest rates and terms offered may vary depending on the lender or financial institution.
With an average credit score, you may still be able to qualify for some credit products, like credit cards or personal loans, but you may not be eligible for the best interest rates and terms. You may also have more difficulty qualifying for larger loans, like a mortgage, or some types of credit, like certain types of rewards credit cards.
The minimum score needed is anywhere from 560 to 610, depending on the lender and other factors. However, the higher your score, the better the chance of getting approved and getting the best terms.
There are different credit scoring models that use different algorithms to calculate credit scores. The two most commonly used credit scoring models are FICO and VantageScore, and they have different scales and methodologies for calculating credit scores.