The Average Credit Score in America

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Your credit score largely dictates your borrowing and purchasing power in the United States.

That’s why money expert Clark Howard wants you to take steps to increase your credit score if at all possible — but there is no need to obsess over perfection.

Experian’s Consumer Credit Review shows that credit scores on average are improving.

What Is the Average Credit Score Right Now?

The average credit score is 715, according to Experian. The figure represents a one-point improvement over the past year.

But there may be some potential trouble for your wallet on the horizon. Experian’s report lists several factors that paint a mixed bag for consumer finances. Here’s the good and the bad:

  • Good: Although credit card balances jumped 10% on average, the economy avoided a recession while tamping down inflation.
  • Bad: Consumers and lenders alike slowed their activities as borrowing became more expensive and higher prices stymied the purchase of new cars and other big-ticket items.
  • Not so bad: Despite rising prices, consumers showed that they are willing to manage higher interest rates, although not as much when it comes to auto loans and mortgages.

    What Are the Average Credit Scores by Generation?

    Now let’s take a look at the average credit scores by generation, according to Experian.

    Generation Z (18-26)679680
    Millennials (27-42)687690
    Generation X (43-58)707709
    Baby Boomers (59-77) 742745
    Silent Generation (78+)760760

    How High Do Credit Scores Go Up?

    Credit scores can range from 300 to 850. So what exactly is a “good” credit score? Clark has an answer:

    “There are certain breakpoints where things get easier for you,” Clark says. “One that’s really important is being around a 680. That’s a point at which people look at you differently than when you’re below that.”

    Beverly Harzog, a credit card expert for U.S. News & World Report says an even higher credit score will yield even more results.

    “If you can get up to around a 760, you’re going to get the same benefits, the same offers, that someone who has an 840 score is going to get,” she adds.

    Tip: Don’t obsess over achieving an 800 credit score and certainly not a perfect 850. Clark says, “Your goal is from wherever you are right now, to try to move that number up. But once you get to 760, just give it a rest. My credit score is somewhere around an 818. That’s higher than I need.”


    How To Increase Your Credit Score

    If your credit score is nowhere near those cited above, don’t worry. There are several ways to raise it.

    Clark says the two biggest ways to increase your credit score are to:

    • Make all of your payments on time.
    • Keep your credit utilization rate low. (That’s the percentage of how much of your available credit you’re using.)

    “Thirty percent of your available credit is where you want to be,” Clark says. “So, in the example of $10,000 in credit, [you want to have] no more than $3,000 in use. If you go above 50%, your credit goes diving off a cliff.”