Average Credit Score in America: 2023 Report | The Motley Fool (2024)

The average credit score in America is 714, holding steady despite inflation putting pressure on Americans and record levels of credit card debt.

Credit scores have mostly been on the rise since 2010 and took a noticeable bump up from 2019 to 2020, as consumers received pandemic relief such as stimulus payments and enhanced unemployment insurance.

The Motley Fool Ascent has the latest data on the average credit score by age, income, and location, plus how rare it is to have a score within the exceptional range of 800 to 850.

Key findings

  • The average credit score is 714.
  • Older Americans have higher average credit scores. The average credit score for baby boomers is 742, while the average credit score for millennials is 687.
  • 23% of Americans have an "exceptional" credit score of 800 or above.

Credit score chart: What is a good credit score?

A good credit score on the FICO scale, the most widely used credit score, falls between 670 and 739.

Here's how FICO® Scores breakdown from poor to excellent:

  • 800 to 850: Exceptional
  • 740 to 799: Very good
  • 670 to 739: Good
  • 580 to 699: Fair
  • 300 to 579: Poor

The three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) calculate credit scores based on information creditors report to them on consumers, such as whether bills are being paid on time and how much credit is being utilized.

Why a high credit score is important to financial well-being

Credit scores are a crucial part of personal finances:

  • Credit scores are used by financial institutions to determine whether someone should be approved for a loan, like an auto loan or mortgage, and the interest rate at which the loan is provided.
  • Landlords and insurance companies use credit scores to screen potential customers.

Credit card companies use credit scores to decide who qualifies for certain credit cards. Americans with higher credit scores are more likely to qualify for the best credit cards.

The average credit score: 714

The average FICO® Score is 714, well within the "Good" range, according to Experian.

That is unchanged from 2021 and up three points from 2020. The average FICO® Score has steadily increased since 2010, with 2013 being the only down year since then.

The average VantageScore: 701

The average VantageScore is 701, unchanged from February and up a single point since January.

VantageScore is an alternative to the FICO® Score, and was developed by Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion in 2006.

How are Vantage and FICO® Scores calculated?

Even though FICO® Scores and VantageScores use similar data, they are calculated differently.

Here are some of the similarities and differences between the two credit scores.


  • Both use a 300 to 850 range for credit scores.
  • Both use credit report information from Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion.
  • Both are used by financial institutions to determine lending risk.


The main difference between FICO and Vantage scores is the scoring models each uses.

FICO uses the following factors and weights to determine scores:

  • Payment history: 35%
    • Whether bills are paid on time.
  • Credit utilization: 30%
    • What percentage of available credit is in use.
  • Length of credit history: 15%
    • Age of accounts.
  • New credit: 10%
    • Number of new accounts, time since a new account was opened, and recent hard inquiries.
  • Credit mix: 10%
    • Types of credit held.

VantageScore doesn't provide specific weights for its factors but does say how influential they are.

  • Payment history: extremely influential
  • Age and type of credit, credit utilization: highly influential
  • Total balances: moderately influential
  • Available credit and recent inquiries: less influential

There are a few other differences between the two scores. VantageScore includes rent, utilities, cable, and phone bill payments in its methodology, while FICO does not. VantageScore also more heavily weights late mortgage payments than other late payments.

Average credit score by age

Older Americans have higher credit scores than younger Americans, with the silent generation posting an average score of 760 compared to Gen Z's average score of 679, according to Experian.

Silent generation760
Baby boomers742
Generation X706
Generation Z679

Data source: Experian (2023).

Baby boomers and the silent generation are the only generations to have average credit scores in the "very good" range. Gen X, millennials, and Gen Z have average scores in the "good" range.

One reason credit scores are higher for older Americans is that they have a longer credit history, which is an important part of credit scores. Older Americans also are more likely to have a more diversified credit mix, potentially including an auto loan and a mortgage.

Credit score distribution: How rare is an exceptional 800 to 850 score?

Twenty-three percent of Americans have a credit score between 800 and 850, considered "exceptional" by FICO. A credit score at the top of that range -- 850 -- is considered a perfect score.

Twenty-four percent have a FICO® Score between 750 and 799, making the "very good" bracket.

FICO® Score rangePercent within range

Data source: FICO (2022).

Nearly half of Americans score between 750 and 850, in the very good to exceptional range, while less than 25% of Americans have a score between 300 and 649, the poor to fair credit score range.

While that segment is relatively small, it still represents a significant number of Americans who may have trouble finding credit and face higher interest rates, which in turn can make it more difficult to raise their credit scores.

Perfect 850 credit score distribution

1.31% of Americans with a FICO® Score have the coveted perfect 850 score.

Baby boomers make up the majority of Americans who have a perfect 850 credit score, accounting for 59% of those whose FICO® Scores couldn't be higher.

Gen X makes up 22% of Americans with an 850 credit score and the silent generation makes up 14%.

Younger Americans are not likely to have reached the pinnacle 850 FICO® Score. Just 4% of millennials and 0.1% of Gen Z have attained the perfect 850 score.

850 FICO® Scores by generationPercent of 850 scores by generation
Gen Z0.1%
Gen X22.4%

Data source: Experian (2022).

Americans with a perfect 850 score have some things in common, according to Experian.

They tend to:

  • Have more credit cards than the average American (5.9 credit cards compared to 3.9 credit cards).
  • Have a lower credit card balance ($2,558 for those with an 850 score compared to $5,221 for all consumers).
  • Have a higher personal loan balance ($32,872 for those with an 850 score compared to $17,064 for all consumers).
  • Have no delinquent payments that would show up on a credit report, compared to the average American's 1.8 delinquent payments.

Average credit score by income

Income and credit scores are correlated, according to the Federal Reserve, which found in 2020 that lower-income Americans are more likely to have a lower credit score.

The median credit score for low-income Americans is 658, which falls in the fair range. This can make it difficult to access credit at an affordable rate, which in turn can make it more difficult to improve their credit score.

On the other hand, high-income and middle-income Americans have credit scores in the very good range.

Annual IncomeMedian Credit Score
Low income658
Moderate income692
Middle income735
High income774

Data source: FRBNY Consumer Credit Panel/Equifax 2020Q2. Note: Low income is defined as an area in which the median family income is less than 80% of the metro area income.

Average credit score by state

Residents in Minnesota have the highest average credit at 742, while Mississippians have the lowest average credit score at 680, according to Experian.

Average credit scores in 20 states increased from 2021 to 2022 and decreased in five states plus the District of Columbia.

StateAverage Credit Score, 2021Average Credit Score, 2022Change
District of Columbia717716-1
New Hampshire7347340
New Jersey725724-1
New Mexico6996990
New York722721-1
North Carolina7077070
North Dakota7337330
Rhode Island7237230
South Carolina6936963
South Dakota7337341
West Virginia6997001

Data source: Experian (2023).

How to boost your credit score

Raising your credit score is important for getting approved for the best credit cards and loans. Thankfully the checklist for doing so isn't too lengthy.

  • Pay bills on time: Payment history is the most important part of how FICO and Vantage scores are calculated and a single late payment can lower your credit score. Setting up autopay for recurring payments can make improving your payment history much simpler. Opening a credit card for fair/average credit and making payments on time can help build payment history.
  • Pay down debt: Having a healthy credit utilization ratio -- the credit card debt held relative to your overall credit limit -- is the second most important aspect of credit scoring. To keep your credit utilization ratio low, pay off your credit card each month in full. If that's not possible, aim for a ratio of 30% or less. Asking your credit card provider to increase your credit limit can also lower your credit utilization ratio.
  • Limit activities that generate hard credit inquiries: Hard credit checks can decrease your credit score and occur when applying for a new credit card or loan.


  • Here's the average credit score by age range, which could be considered a good target credit score to aim for:

    • 76 to 93 years old: 760
    • 57 to 75 years old: 742
    • 41 to 56 years old: 706
    • 25 to 40 years old: 687
    • 9 to 24 years old: 679
  • The average FICO® Score in the United States is 714. The average VantageScore is 701.

  • 1.31% of Americans with a FICO® Score have a perfect score of 850, according to Experian.

Average Credit Score in America: 2023 Report | The Motley Fool (2024)
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