Average Credit Score up 2% From 2018
Jan 8th, 2020 @ 1:33 PM by Amber Nelson
Americans improved their credit scores in 2019, according to a new report from credit reporting agency Experian, a sign that consumers are handling their debt obligations better.
Experian’s annual State of Credit report found that the average U.S. credit score increased 2 points to 682. And even as Americans take on slightly more debt, delinquency rates have still decreased.
“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 2 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%, indicating consumers are using credit as a financial tool and managing their debts responsibly,” Lois added.
By state, Minnesota, Vermont, South Dakota, New Hampshire and Massachusetts had the highest average credit scores, all with prime scores of 705 or higher.
The states with the lowest credit scores were clustered in the South: Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Texas and Oklahoma. Those five states all had average scores below 660.
The Experian study also compared credit behavior between men and women and wound that women have an average credit score of 686, four points higher than men.
That may have something to do with the fact that men carry more debt than women. Men had an average of $27,314 in non-mortgage debt in 2019; women carried $24,176 on average.
Women had more credit accounts than men though, with 3.17 credit cards and 2.83 retail cards, compared to 3.01 and 2.13, respectively for men. Yet men had higher balances on those cards. Men had an average of $6,872 on credit cards; women had $6,569. Men averaged 2,087 on retail cards while women had $1,858.
Experian’s report is based on a sampling of its consumer credit database from the second quarter of 2017, 2018, and 2019.
Amber Nelson is a seasoned mortgage industry writer and a regular contributor to Loan.com and Mortgage101.com.