Americans end the decade on an eight-year high with an average credit score of 682

Experian’s latest State of Credit report examines credit and spending behaviors as consumers prepare for 2020

Costa Mesa, Calif., December 19, 2019 — Experian®, the leading global information services company, released key findings from its annual State of Credit report today revealing the average credit score hit an eight year high at 682. Experian’s report provides a year-over-year view of average credit scores, debt, delinquencies and card balances. As we prepare for a new decade, this year’s report took a close comparative look at how men and women manage credit and debt, shared a glimpse of the financial behaviors of each generation and ranked the states with the highest and lowest average credit scores.

According to the report, American’s average credit score has increased two points year-over-year to 682. While people are taking on slightly more credit card, mortgage and nonmortgage debt year-over-year, delinquency rates are decreasing on average.

“We’re seeing a promising trend in terms of how Americans are managing their credit as we head into a new decade with average credit scores increasing two points since 2018 to 682 – the highest we’ve seen since 2011,” said Shannon Lois, Experian’s head of analytics, consulting and operations. “Average credit card balances and debt are up year over year, yet utilization rates remain consistent at 30 percent, indicating consumers are using credit as a financial tool and managing their debts responsibly.”

Highlights of Experian’s State of Credit report:

3-year comparison

2017

2018

2019

Average number of credit cards

3.06

3.04

3.07

Average credit card balances

$6,354

$6,506

$6,629

Average number of retail credit cards

2.48

2.59

2.51

Average retail credit card balances

$1,841

$1,901

$1,942

Average VantageScore®[1,2]

675

680

682

Average revolving utilization

30%

30%

30%

Average nonmortgage debt[3]

$24,706

$25,104

$25,386

Average mortgage debt

$201,811

$208,180

$231,599

Average 30 days past due delinquency rates

4.0%

3.9%

3.9%

Average 60 days past due delinquency rates

1.9%

1.9%

1.9%

Average 90- 180 days past due delinquency rates

7.3%

6.7%

6.8%

1VantageScore is a registered trademark of VantageScore Solutions, LLC.

2VantageScore range is 300 to 850.

3Average debt for this study includes all credit cards, auto loans and personal loans/student loans.

“Understanding the factors that influence their overall credit profile can help consumers improve and maintain their financial health,” said Rod Griffin, Experian’s director of consumer education and awareness. “Credit can be used as a financial tool. Through this report, we hope to provide insights that will help consumers make more informed decisions about credit use as we prepare to head into a new decade.”

Battle of the Sexes
When comparing the borrowing behaviors of men and women, Experian’s State of Credit report revealed woman have a four-point lead over men with an average credit score of 686 compared to 682. While men and women both maintain a utilization rate of 30 percent, differences in how they manage credit include:

  • Men carry more non-mortgage and mortgage debt than women at $27,314 and $220,421 respectively; compared to $24,176 and $203,630.
  • Women have more credit cards (3.17 compared to 3.01) and retail cards (2.83 compared to 2.13) but carry lower balances with an average credit card balance of $6,569, compared with $6,872 and an average retail card balance of $1,858 compared to $2,087.
  • Men have a slightly higher 90+ days past due delinquency rate (34% compared to 33%).

Generational Divide
Experian’s report revealed Gen Xers, millennials and Gen Zers tend to carry more debt (including mortgage, nonmortgage, credit card and retail card) than older generations and have higher delinquency and utilization rates.

Generation

Avg. Credit Score

Credit cards

Credit card balances

Retail cards

Retail card balances

Nonmortgage debt

Mortgage debt

Utilization rate

90+ days past due

Gen Z

641

1.59

$2,503

1.63

$999

$9,317

$159,677

36%

25%

Millennials

647

2.66

$5,071

2.14

$1,785

$25,602

$222,924

35%

43%

Gen X

665

3.28

$8,383

2.66

$2,257

$32,073

$243,430

36%

41%

Baby boomer

710

3.50

$7,571

2.74

$1,994

$26,673

$193,894

26%

28%

Silent

731

2.90

$4,580

2.33

$1,385

$13,852

$162,162

15%

18%

U.S. average

682

3.07

$6,629

2.51

$1,942

$25,386

$213,599

30%

34%

Annual State Rankings
As part of the annual study, Experian also ranked states by average credit score in 2019. Minnesota, Vermont, South Dakota, New Hampshire and Massachusetts are the top-ranking states in the nation, with prime credit scores of 705 or more. Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Texas and Oklahoma are the five lowest-ranking states, with credit scores below 660.

Top 5 highest average credit scores by state

2019 highest rankings

State

2019 average VantageScore

1

Minnesota

715

2

Vermont

708

3

South Dakota

707

4

New Hampshire

707

5

Massachusetts

705

 

Top 5 lowest average credit scores by state

2019 lowest rankings

State

2019 average VantageScore

1

Mississippi

652

2

Louisiana

654

3

Alabama

660

4

Texas

660

5

Oklahoma

660

Analysis methodology
Experian’s analysis is based on a statistically relevant sampling of Experian’s consumer credit database, available on the Experian Ascend Technology PlatformTM, from Q2 2017, 2018 and 2019. Analyzed credit files contained no personally identifiable information. Credit scores are based on VantageScore (range 300 – 850).

About Experian
Experian is the world’s leading global information services company. During life’s big moments — from buying a home or a car to sending a child to college to growing a business by connecting with new customers — we empower consumers and our clients to manage their data with confidence. We help individuals to take financial control and access financial services, businesses to make smarter decisions and thrive, lenders to lend more responsibly, and organizations to prevent identity fraud and crime.

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Learn more at www.experianplc.com or visit our global content hub at our global news blog for the latest news and insights from the Group.

Experian and the Experian marks used herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of Experian and its affiliates. Other product and company names mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.

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