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What Is Considered an Average Credit Score?

What Is Considered an Average Credit Score?; While every lender, landlord, and employer has its own credit score requirements, it can be helpful to know what an average credit score looks like.
Jacqueline DeMarco
Jacqueline DeMarcoUpdated October 19, 2023
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Editor’s note: Lantern by SoFi seeks to provide content that is objective, independent and accurate. Writers are separate from our business operation and do not receive direct compensation from advertisers or partners. Read more about our Editorial Guidelines and How We Make Money.
Your credit score is one of the most important tools used when it comes time to shop for a loan, apply for a credit card, look for a new job, or rent an apartment. While every lender, landlord, and employer has its own credit score requirements, knowing what the average credit score is can help you determine where you’re at. Keep reading to learn more about what the average credit score is, what a good credit score is, and ideas about how you could build your score. 

What Is the Average Credit Score?

The credit score that most of us are familiar with is a FICO®, which ranges from 300 to 850. Credit reporting agency Experian® found that the average credit score in America was 714 as of 2022. In general, credit scores have been rising during the last decade and even rose throughout 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic, which caused financial hardship for many consumers. Recommended: Why Is Your Credit Score So Important?

What Are the Average Scores By Age?

It takes time to build a credit score and your stage of life may correlate with how strong your score is. Generally, the older a consumer is, the better his or her credit habits and credit score are likely to be. If you analyze average credit scores by age, those who are 77 and older tend to have the highest average FICO® scores. Let’s look more closely at what the average credit score is for different generations. 
  • Generation Z (18-25): 679
  • Millennials (26-41): 687
  • Generation X (42-57): 706
  • Baby boomers (58-76): 742
  • Silent generation (77+): 760
Across the board, consumer’s credit scores tend to grow higher as they get older. That's in part because making responsible credit moves over extended periods of time helps build credit scores. 

What Is Considered a Decent Credit Score?

You may be wondering whether the national average credit score is good or whether it’s less than stellar. Generally, for a FICO® score to be considered “good,” it needs to be at least 670. While not all lenders need to see a score this high, many do. A score of 714, the current average, is well within the “good” range. Roughly 71% of Americans have a credit score of 670 or higher. For reference, FICO scores fall into a variety of categories that range both higher and lower than “good.” 
  • 800-850: Exceptional
  • 740-799: Very good
  • 670-739: Good
  • 580-669: Fair
  • 300-579: Very poor
Generally, the higher your credit score is, the more likely you are to get larger loan amounts, lower interest rates, and better repayment terms. When you’re applying for insurance, having a higher credit score can lead to lower insurance prices, and when you’re applying to rent an apartment, if you’ve got a good credit score, you may stand out when you’re compared to competing applicants. Recommended: What Is Considered a Bad Credit Score?

What Is a Credit Score?

Your credit score is based on your credit history and serves as an indicator of how creditworthy you are to lenders. Although FICO scores are used by many lenders, it’s worth knowing that consumers don’t have just one credit score, since different companies can use their own credit scoring models. Credit scores are generally calculated using the following information about your financial life:
  • Payment history 
  • Outstanding credit balances 
  • Length of credit history 
  • Applications for new credit accounts 
  • Mix of credit accounts (credit card, auto loan, et cetera) 
Your credit score may be used in many different scenarios, but it typically comes into play in situations where someone needs to evaluate your credit risk. Creditors commonly use a credit score to help determine their risk when they lend money to a consumer. In some cases, credit scores are used to evaluate how financially responsible a consumer is, which is why some landlords and employers may want to review your credit score. 

How to Build Your Credit Score

Before you put your credit score to the test, you may be wondering what you can do to build it. While there’s no set formula you can follow to build your credit score a certain amount by a certain date, there are recommended steps you can take to help build your credit score over time. Building a strong credit score doesn’t happen overnight and some of these actions may require time to take effect, although others may have a quicker impact. Pay bills and loans on time. A history of missed payments doesn’t instill faith in lenders, which is why it’s important to pay your bills and loan payments on time. Setting up automatic payments or reminders to pay these bills can make it easier to avoid missing any payments. Keep credit utilization low. Your credit utilization ratio is the amount you owe on your credit cards relative to the total amount of available credit. The less credit you’re using compared to how much you have available, the better. Keeping credit card balances low (at less than 30% of your limit) helps assure potential lenders that you’re able to pay their bills. Have a long credit history. This tip requires patience, but having a long credit history can help build your credit score over time. Basically, the longer you’ve been making good credit decisions, such as paying loans on time, the more evidence there is that you’re a responsible borrower. Only apply for necessary credit. If you’ve recently applied for a lot of credit in a short time period, lenders may worry that your financial situation is in flux. If you’re getting ready to apply for important credit (like a mortgage), you may want to hold off on applying for any other credit that you don’t really need in order to avoid temporarily hurting your credit scoreCheck your credit reports for errors. Credit reports can have mistakes, which can hurt your credit scores. Checking your credit report for errors can be worthwhile since they can be corrected. Not to mention, mistakes on your credit report may be a sign of identity theft. If you think a mistake occurred, you’ll need to contact both the credit reporting company that made the report and the company that provided the information to the credit reporting agency. For example, if your credit report inaccurately states that you’re overdue on a credit card payment, you’ll need to let the credit reporting company know you believe a mistake has been made and will also need to contact the credit card company to make sure it updates the credit reporting company about the error. 

The Takeaway

Having a strong credit score reflects good financial health and can make the best deals on credit products more accessible. A credit score above 670 is considered “good,” and the average credit score of Americans is currently 714.One of the most important things you can do to maintain or build good credit is to pay all of your bills on time. You also want to make sure your credit utilization ratio remains below 30%, check your credit report regularly for errors, and keep lines of credit open, if possible.When it comes time to apply for financial products, including credit cards, Lantern allows you to comparison shop different products, rates, and rewards.Lantern by SoFi makes it easy to compare the best credit card options available today.

About the Author

Jacqueline DeMarco

Jacqueline DeMarco

Jacqueline DeMarco is a personal finance writer and editor based in Southern California. While she spends the bulk of her time writing about complex financial issues, she also tackles a variety of subjects ranging from food to fashion to travel. Her work can be found across dozens of publications such as Credit Karma, LendingTree, Northwestern Mutual, The Everygirl, and Apartment Therapy.
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