Average Credit Scores Surge to 8-Year High

December 23, 2019

Americans are boosting their credit scores, which bodes well for applicants seeking a mortgage to snag the lowest rates. The average credit score hit its highest level since 2011, reaching 682--two points higher than a year ago, Experian reports in its State of Credit report. Consumers also are taking on more mortgage debt than a year ago, and delinquency rates are decreasing too.

“We’re seeing a promising trend in terms of how Americans are managing their credit as we head into a new decade,” says 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.”

Comparing borrowing behaviors between genders, women’s average credit scores are four points higher than men’s (686 vs. 682, respectively). Men tend to carry more mortgage debt than women--$220,421 compared to $203,603.

By generation, Gen Xers, millennials, and Gen Zers tend to carry more debt than older generations. They also tend to have higher delinquency rates, the Experian study shows. Here’s a breakdown showing their average credit scores and mortgage debts:

Generation Z

  • Average credit score: 641
  • Mortgage debt: $159,677

Millennials

  • Average credit score: 647
  • Mortgage debt: $222,924

Gen X

  • Average credit score: 665
  • Mortgage debt: $243,430

Baby boomer

  • Average credit score: 710
  • Mortgage debt: $193,894

Silent generation

  • Average credit score: 731
  • Mortgage debt: $162,162

By state, the five states with the highest average credit scores, according to Experian, are:

  1. Minnesota: 715
  2. Vermont: 708
  3. South Dakota: 707
  4. New Hampshire: 707
  5. Massachusetts: 705

Meanwhile, the states with the lowest average credit scores are Mississippi (652) and Louisiana (654).

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