Your credit score is important — without a good one, you might struggle to get yourself a car, rent or buy property, take out a loan and more.
The average American actually has a fairly average credit score, according to ValuePenguin’s latest FICO credit score study: 695. The FICO credit model uses a 300-to-850 scale, which makes the average score "good." Anything above 720 would be considered "excellent."
FICO scores are calculated using various different pieces of credit data in your credit report. The data is grouped into five categories: payment history (35 percent), amounts owed (30 percent), length of credit history (15 percent), new credit (10 percent) and credit mix (10 percent).
The average American’s credit score has been slowly but surely ticking up over the past few years. But that strong national average hides a significant age-based range — younger people seem to be at a disadvantage, partly because they haven't had a credit history quite as long, and partly also because they're still learning to manage their money, paying off student loans, renting and buying property for the first time and other contributing factors.
According to data from CreditKarma’s Credit Trends graph, credit score tends to improve with age, and more than half of consumers had a score above 700, according to FICO analysis of scores in April 2017.
Let's take a deeper dive into how your credit score stacks up against your age group. To follow is what the average credit score trend looks like by your age, according to CreditKarma's Trends Graph and FICO's 2017 analysis.
1. 20 Years Old
For 18- to 24-year-olds, the average credit score is 630.23. By 20, your credit score might fall somewhere around that number. A credit score of 630 isn't considered “good” or even “fair.” Rather, a 630 credit score is actually considered “bad,” according to the standard 300-to-850 scale. Again, young people are at a disadvantage because they don't have a long length of credit history, which comprises 15 percent of the score.
2. 30 Years Old
For 25- to 34-year-olds, the average credit score is 638.46. It takes a dip, probably because people start to move out of their parents' homes, pay rent, start to pay off their student loans, and take on more adult responsibilities starting in their mid-20s. That said, according to the FICO analysis of 2017, 30- to 39-year-olds had a 671 score on average, which does show an improvement over the course of the thirties.
3. 40 Years Old
For 35- to 44-year-olds, the average credit score is 629.63. While this is still lower than a 20-year-old's average credit score, people in their mid-30s to mid-40s, many of whom start to buy property and grow their families, are doing better than they were in their mid-20s and early 30s. They may be in jobs longer that have paid them more over time; they may have a dual income source with a partner; they may just be better at managing their finances.
4. 50 Years Old
For 45- to 54-year-olds, the average credit score is 646.53. As people get older, their credit score does seem to significantly increase. The average 50-year-old might have a credit score around this number. According to the FICO analysis, those between 50 and 59 years old had an average score of 709 in 2017, which is considered "good."
5. 60 Years Old
For anyone 55 years and older, the average credit score is 696.57, according to CreditKarma's trends. So, by 60, your credit score might look a lot like this number. But, according to the FICO analysis, the average 60-year-old sees a credit score of 743, which is considered "excellent."
AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel-the-world">travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog">blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report,