Credit score

Average Credit Score for Millennials, Gen Z, Baby Boomers, Generation X

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If you’re like most adults in the United States, you’ve spent less on credit cards than before the pandemic. Many Americans have also used less of their available credit and even paid off debt, in many cases using stimulus checks.

All of these trends have led to a dramatic increase in the average American’s credit score, according to the “Credit Status 2021” report from Experian, one of the three major credit reporting agencies.

Experian found that the average VantageScore credit score reached 695 in 2021, up from 688 in 2020 and 681 a year earlier. According to FICO, a data analytics company that uses slightly different metrics to report credit scores, the average credit score recently hit a record high of 716.

Despite the small difference between these two numbers – which is due to the different ways VantageScore and FICO scores are calculated – both are what experts consider good scores. A score of 300-579 is poor, 580-669 is acceptable, 670-739 is good, 740-799 is very good, and 800-850 is exceptional.

Average credit scores have increased for all but one generation, and the typical rating for each generation is currently considered fair or good, according to Experian. From 2019 to 2021, millennials saw their scores increase by the most points, from an average of 648 to 667 – almost reaching “good” territory. The only age group that saw a drop in credit scores from 2020 to 2021 is the silent generation, and even after the slight drop, they have a higher average score (730) than all the others.

Average credit score, by generation

  • Gen Z (16-24): 660.5
  • Generation Y (millennials, 25 to 40): 667.4
  • Generation X (41 to 56): 685.2
  • Boomers (57 to 75): 724.2
  • Silent Generation (76+): 729.9
  • US average: 695.3

Rising credit ratings are obviously a positive sign for the overall financial health of Americans. Higher credit scores can be a gateway to accessing low-interest loans, securing housing, and generally gaining a stable financial footing.

A good credit rating will make it easier to get a good mortgage rate or car loan, and give you a head start when trying to lock in your lease on a new apartment.

The list doesn’t end there: a bad credit score will make you pay more for things like insurance. Home insurance premiums can be up to 114% higher for homeowners with below average credit scores compared to those with excellent scores. Car insurance companies also use credit scores to determine your rates, although this practice is now banned or restricted in some states for being unfair. Overall, Latinos and Black Americans have lower credit ratings than their white counterparts, in part because they have been excluded from credit-creating opportunities.

If you don’t have a credit score yet or are unhappy with being on the lower end of the spectrum, you need to take steps to build your credit and raise your credit score. Among them, you can apply to your local credit union for a credit loan or become an authorized user on a trusted adult’s existing credit card.

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