7 Surprising Stats About Americans Credit Scores
We take a deep dive into Experian's 2021 State of Credit report to find 7 surprising facts about American credit scores.
1.) The average credit score in America has skyrocketed over the past few years, reaching an all-time high of 711 in 2021.
What It Means: Yay, us! The number of Americans with stellar credit scores has been steadily increasing - that means more of us are getting savvy about our finances and taking control of our financial future.
This is great news, not only for ourselves, but for the economy as a whole. I remember a time, directly before the Great Financial Crisis (GFC) on 2008 where the average Americans credit score was hovering around 680, so it's incredibly impressive over the last 15 years, during one of the biggest bull runs of our generation, that consumers have managed to not only keep, but also improve their aggregate credit scores.
Here's to you, people! Keep those credit scores high.
2.) The average credit utilization rate dropped to 27% in 2021, which is a decrease of four percentage points from 2020.
What It Means: 2021 was off to an awesome start! People everywhere were making wise financial decisions and taking their credit utilization rate to a whole new level (up, btw)
Not only does this mean that individuals are taking a proactive approach to managing their credit cards, but it also signals a healthier economy in general. Credit utilization, after all, is closely tied to consumer confidence and the overall state of the financial markets and while this report is a year old and we’re certainly dealing with inflation, higher credit utilization and a somewhat turbulent market - it’s still pretty dang impressive we came out of 2020 in a positive place.
3.) 65% of consumers have a “good” or “excellent” credit score in 2021, up two percentage points from 2020.
What It Means: According to the report, 65% of consumers boast a “good” or “excellent” credit score in 2021, an increase of two percentage points from 2020.
Is that an obscenely wild change? Not really, but it’s up, right? Up is good. Up means that people have been taking their finances and credit seriously, which lenders LOVE.
We like this trend and hope in the 2022 report upward trajectory has continued. We’re crossing our fingers!
4.) The average credit card debt per consumer decreased by 4% since 2020.
What It Means: The average credit card debt per consumer saw a remarkable drop of 4% since the start of 2020, which isn’t surprising considering the bailouts, PPP, strong job market, inability to travel freely, eat out regularly and other things we had or didn’t have pre-COVID.
Of course, this report is a bit outdated as latest news has been saying that we’re near one trillion in consumer credit card debt as of Q1 2023!!! Yikes.
With the recent Fed Funds rate increases, those carrying higher credit card balances will be subject to higher payments (variable APR’s, booo!) and in our opinion, it’s imperative that if you’re one of these people with increasing credit debt, create a plan to pay it down.
Word on the street is that 2023 may have one or 2 more rate increases in store (0.25%?) and then the Fed may hold steady for the full year, meaning, no rate decreases and ultimately, no rate decreases for your loans.
5.) The average deposit account balance increased by 8% since 2020.
What It Means: The average deposit account balance saw a notable increase of 8% since the start of 2020, indicating a strong trend of economic growth and a very positive outlook, especially considering what could have happened during the pandemic.
Unfortunately, this too has changed.
U.S. households are now estimated to have $900 billion in savings, down from a peak of $2.1 trillion in early 2021 and roughly $1.9 trillion at the beginning of last year (2022).
Did you end up spending 50% of your savings in the last year? This would be an interesting poll.
A lot of the blame for the decrease in deposit account balances can be placed on the red hot inflation we saw through 2022 and into 2023 where consumers have had to dip into their savings (and emergency funds!) to pay higher prices for rent, food, fuel, electricity and other necessities.
Here’s to hoping we get inflation back under control in 2023, limit job losses and get back to saving!
6.) 34% of consumers have a credit score of 800 or more in 2021.
What It Means: Americans are finally getting serious about their credit! Yes, an 800 credit score or higher can be difficult to achieve, but clearly, a large percentage of American’s have done it!
An 800+ credit score (FICO score, btw) can open up credit options and rates that those with a 700 FICO score could only dream of, so if you have a goal, make getting your credit score to 800 (or 850!) a primary focus.
If 100 million American’s can do it, so can you!
7.) 66% of consumers have a credit score of 700 or more in 2021.
What It Means: OK, this stat is truly wild. Over 200 million Americans have a credit score of 700 or above. Yes, of course, this means that 34% of these people are also 800 and above, but wow, that still means there’s 100 million people with credit scores between 700 - 799!
The way I see it, there are 200+ million American’s that are responsible with their credit and finances. This is something that should be celebrated.
If you’re not one of the American’s with a score of 700 or above, it’s time to take matters into your hands and get to hacking.
- Pay down debt (credit, student loans, vehicles)
- Negotiate a salary increase
- Increase your credit card limits and ALWAY pay on time.
❗Other Interesting Facts
Average Credit Card Balance By Age
Maybe it’s just me, but I found this really interesting. The credit card balances for the youngest and oldest age ranges are basically the same, yet for the ages 40 - 59 (prime earning years, near-retirement) credit card debt is over double!
- How does this list stack up to your balance?
- Do you have a plan to pay off your debt quicker?
- Are you considering a debt consolidation loan or balance transfer?
I would be interested to hear what you think!
- The average credit card balance for consumers aged 20-29 is $2,053 in 2021.
- The average credit card balance for consumers aged 30-39 is $3,403 in 2021.
- The average credit card balance for consumers aged 40-49 is $5,062 in 2021.
- The average credit card balance for consumers aged 50-59 is $5,128 in 2021.
- The average credit card balance for consumers aged 60-69 is $4,746 in 2021.
- The average credit card balance for consumers aged 70-79 is $3,544 in 2021.
- The average credit card balance for consumers aged 80+ is $2,179 in 2021.
Average Deposit Account Balance By Age
The average deposit account balance for people of all ages seems to vary wildly.
For example, those in their 20s have an average deposit account balance that is much lower than those in their 30s and 40s.
Then we go up a few age brackets and see that those in their 60s - 70’s have the largest balances right up until they crest age 80, where it drops to a level slightly below the balance they had in their 50’s!
It seems the sweet spot is in your 60’s. Does that mean when you’re 60 you’re living your best life? I’m excited to find out 😄
- The average deposit account balance for consumers aged 20-29 is $7,213 in 2021.
- The average deposit account balance for consumers aged 30-39 is $10,916 in 2021.
- The average deposit account balance for consumers aged 40-49 is $15,139 in 2021.
- The average deposit account balance for consumers aged 50-59 is $18,459 in 2021.
- The average deposit account balance for consumers aged 60-69 is $19,148 in 2021.
- The average deposit account balance for consumers aged 70-79 is $17,129 in 2021.
- The average deposit account balance for consumers aged 80+ is $14,234 in 2021.
Average FICO Scores
The average FICO score, a three-digit number that is widely used in the banking and credit card industry to measure an individual's creditworthiness, varies by age.
I wanted to include FICO score metrics (not Vantage Score) because that is the credit score most lenders use, and generally accepted as the only type of credit score that really matters. Some credit buffs even go as far as to say the Vantage Score is a “FAKO” score!
Some key takeaways.
- Start utilizing credit responsibly at a young age to build your credit history, average age of accounts and payment history.
- You’re likely to have your best credit in your 60’s (and the most savings, too!)
Average FICO Scores By Age Range
- The average FICO score for consumers aged 20-29 is 663 in 2021.
- The average FICO score for consumers aged 30-39 is 696 in 2021.
- The average FICO score for consumers aged 40-49 is 720 in 2021.
- The average FICO score for consumers aged 50-59 is 741 in 2021.
- The average FICO score for consumers aged 60-69 is 750 in 2021.
- The average FICO score for consumers aged 70-79 is 745 in 2021.
- The average FICO score for consumers aged 80+ is 721 in 2021.
Average FICO Scores By Generation
- The average FICO score for Generation Z is 645 in 2021.
- The average FICO score for Millennials is 671 in 2021.
- The average FICO score for Generation X is 716 in 2021.
- The average FICO score for Baby Boomers is 744 in 2021.
- The average FICO score for the Silent Generation is 722 in 2021.
This data was generated from Experian’s State Of Credit report for 2021