Average FICO Credit Score By Age

The FICO score is a three-digit number that has the power to change your financial life – for good or for ill.

Based on information from credit reports, your FICO score helps lenders decide whether to lend you money, give you a credit card, or even give you a checking or savings account. [2] What is a FICO Score? https://www.consumerfinance.gov/ask-cfpb/what-is-a-fico-score-en-1883/ Some landlords will consider your FICO score when you apply for a place to live. [3] What Do Landlords Look For in a Credit Check? https://www.myfico.com/credit-education/blog/credit-score-to-rent-apartment

The lowest possible FICO score is 300 and the highest is 850. [1] Credit Reports Not Established Based On Age https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/credit-reports-not-established-based-on-age/ Improving your score can save you tens of thousands of dollars [4] Raising a ‘Fair’ Credit Score to ‘Good’ Could Save Over $56,000 https://www.lendingtree.com/personal/study-raising-credit-score-saves-money/ in interest on mortgages and loans. However, typical score-building tactics, such as using credit cards and having a mortgage, might not be possible when you first start out. They could also be tough if you’re trying to rebuild credit. [5] Rebuilding Credit After Divorce https://www.self.inc/blog/rebuilding-credit-after-divorce

But it’s possible to find ways around these restrictions. For example, you might get a credit-builder loan, [6] Build Credit History and Save Money https://www.self.inc/ buy something on installment or apply for a secured credit card [7] How to Use Secured Cards to Build Credit https://www.self.inc/blog/secured-cards-build-credit (making sure the card is reported to all three credit bureaus).

At the same time, work to develop good financial habits such as paying bills on time, living below your means and having an emergency fund. [8] Why Build an Emergency Savings Fund? https://www.self.inc/blog/what-is-an-emergency-fund Once you do get credit, you’ll be positioned to handle it more responsibly: never missing a payment, not buying more than you can afford and being ready to handle an unexpected expense without going into debt.

Key statistics [9] At What Age Can You Expect Your Best FICO Score? https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/research/credit-scores-by-age/

  • The lowest average score (663) is between ages 20 and 29. However, that’s just 10 points away from a “good” FICO score.
  • The score increases faster between ages 50 and 59, but doesn’t hit the “very good” range until age 68.
  • The average FICO score peaks at age 82, with a score of 758.
  • At no point does the average FICO score hit the “exceptional” range of 800 and above.
  • Two-thirds of Generation Z (ages 25 and under) are “credit active.”

Contents

What age do you get a credit score?

Your credit score begins the first time you open a credit account that gets reported to the bureaus. [1] Credit Reports Not Established Based On Age https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/credit-reports-not-established-based-on-age/ Such accounts include mortgages, credit cards, and student, auto or personal loans. [10] How the Right Mix of Credit Can Boost Your Credit Score https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/what-is-credit-mix-and-how-can-it-help-your-credit-score/

It’s possible for a minor to get a credit score by taking out student loans before age 18, [11] FAQs About Financial Aid https://finaid.org/questions/faq/#:~:text=However%2C%20lenders%20may%20require%20a,of%20the%20defense%20of%20infancy or being added as an authorized user [12] How Being an Authorized User Could Boost Your Credit Score https://www.self.inc/blog/authorized-user-credit-score to a parent’s card. However, you need to be 21 years old to get a credit card on your own, unless you have an independent income source or can get a co-signer. [13] What is a Cosigner? https://www.self.inc/blog/what-is-a-cosigner

It’s likely you’ll get your first card at some point in your 20s. If you can’t get one right away, ask to be added to a parent’s card, or take out a credit-builder loan. [6] Build Credit History and Save Money https://www.self.inc/

Average credit score per age group

In and of itself, age doesn’t matter to your score because FICO doesn’t know how old you are. [9] At What Age Can You Expect Your Best FICO Score? https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/research/credit-scores-by-age/

Fair Isaac Corporation (the company that created the FICO) also doesn’t know your name, gender, race, ethnicity, religion or address. Your FICO score is based on information from the three major credit reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion), which track your history of handling (or mishandling) debt.

However, Experian published a study in March 2020 that analyzed the way FICO scores change during a credit user’s life. The company used consumer credit data from the second quarter of 2019 to come up with the following ranges.

Average Credit Score (703)

Credit scores for 20 to 29-year-olds

The average FICO score for people between 20 to 29 years old is 663.

You’ll probably start this decade with a “thin file” at the credit reporting bureaus. That’s because you haven’t used credit much yet, except possibly for student loans.

However, your 20s offer plenty of chances to start building a credit history. It’s a good idea to get started as early as possible, since the length of your credit history makes up 15% of your FICO score. [14] How Your Credit Score is Determined and How to Improve It https://www.stlouisfed.org/open-vault/2019/april/how-credit-score-determined

If you can’t get a credit card right away, ask to be added as an authorized user to a parent’s card, or apply for a secured credit card (making sure that the one you choose is reported to all three credit bureaus).

Members of Generation Z (those born after 1995) are avid users of credit. [15] Gen Z Uncovered: The Credit Trends and Preferences of the Youngest Generation https://content.transunion.com/v/global-gen-z-report-us?_ga=2.44059876.1377181265.1598317435-924028984.1598058458 A study from TransUnion shows that two-thirds of this age group has at least one credit product.

Note: Despite what you may have heard, debit cards do not build your credit history. [16] Can You Build Credit With a Debit Card? https://www.nar.realtor/sites/default/files/documents/2020-generational-trends-report-03-05-2020.pdf Another persistent myth is that carrying a balance improves your credit score. It doesn’t! Never buy more than you can pay off in full each month.

Credit scores for 30 to 39-year-olds

The average FICO score for people between 30 to 39 years old is 672.

You’re likely to carry a lot more credit card debt during this decade – more than twice as much, according to the Experian study.

Why so much debt? Probably because your household budget is stressed by factors such as:

During this busy decade, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and forget about a bill. However on-time payments make up a whopping 35% of your credit score. [14] How Your Credit Score is Determined and How to Improve It https://www.stlouisfed.org/open-vault/2019/april/how-credit-score-determined To be on the safe side, automate a minimum payment on your credit card and utility bills.

Note: It’s essential to build that emergency fund for unexpected home or family expenses. Otherwise you might wind up putting it all on a credit card, and high credit utilization isn’t good for your score.

Credit scores for 40 to 49-year-olds

The average FICO score for people between 40 to 49 years old is 683.

Your credit score continues to improve during this decade. After all, you’ve likely been using credit cards for a while and also established a couple of decades’ worth of regular payments on a car loan and/or a mortgage.

However, this can be a costly period of your life. If you have kids, their needs are growing. You might also be contributing to their college savings plans, or even helping pay their tuition right now. Unanticipated college costs – fees, books, dorm supplies, travel to and from the school – can wind up on a credit card.

It’s no surprise that personal debt reaches peak level [9] At What Age Can You Expect Your Best FICO Score? https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/research/credit-scores-by-age/ during this decade. Mortgages, vehicle and student loans, and retail credit cards are a heavy burden in your 40s.

Since the “credit utilization ratio” makes up 30% of your FICO score, [14] How Your Credit Score is Determined and How to Improve It https://www.stlouisfed.org/open-vault/2019/april/how-credit-score-determined try to limit your card use to no more than 30% of available credit at any given time. The lower the percentage, the better.

Credit scores for 50 to 59-year-olds

The average FICO score for people between 50 to 59 years old is 703.

Your FICO score is still rising. In fact, it makes its biggest jump during your 50s and 60s. [9] At What Age Can You Expect Your Best FICO Score? https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/research/credit-scores-by-age/

Income tends to peak during this decade. This enables you to pay off your cards in full, lowering the credit utilization ratio. You might also be able to affect your credit report in other ways, such as retiring that Parent PLUS education loan or paying down your mortgage.

However, expenses can still be high if your kids haven’t finished college – or if they’ve come back to live with you. Some parents are housing their adult children into their late 20s or early 30s, and some help their children with everyday expenses [20] Majority of Americans Say Parents Are Doing Too Much for Their Young Adult Children https://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2019/10/23/majority-of-americans-say-parents-are-doing-too-much-for-their-young-adult-children/ even if they live somewhere else.

In this stage of life you might also be helping your aging parents, both physically and financially. More than one-third of Generation X (those in their early 40s to mid-50s) are or have been caregivers for their parents, which often requires them to adjust their working hours. [21] Retirement Security Amid COVID-19: The Outlook of Three Generations https://transamericacenter.org/docs/default-source/retirement-survey-of-workers/tcrs2020_sr_retirement_security_amid_covid-19.pdf

Despite these financial stressors, guard against living beyond your means. Help your kids and parents if you can, but don’t deplete your cash reserves – or run up your credit cards.

Credit scores for age 60 and beyond

  • The average FICO score for people in their 60s is 733.
  • The average FICO score for people in their 70s is 754.
  • The average FICO score for people in their 80s is 757.
  • The average FICO score for people in their 90s is 753.

Between ages 60 and 69 is when your credit score will first reach the “very good” FICO score [9] At What Age Can You Expect Your Best FICO Score? https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/research/credit-scores-by-age/ category of 740 to 799.

Even if you retire in your 60s, there’s still plenty of spending to do. Maybe even more spending:

  • You finally have a chance to travel or to spend more time with a favorite hobby.
  • After years of cooking, cleaning and doing your own home repairs, you might want (or need) to hire some help.
  • If you have grandchildren, you could be traveling to see them or wanting to help pay for their education.

These are exciting times, but remember: Using more than 30% of available credit and/or carrying a balance is not good for your FICO score.

It’s vital to keep a good credit score after you retire, even if you’ve paid off your mortgage and other debts. For example, you might want to modify your home so you can age in place; if you couldn’t pay cash for the renovation, having a good credit score will help you get the best loan interest rate.

The bottom line

Keep in mind that an “average” credit score is just an approximation. Being in your 20s doesn’t guarantee you’ll have a 672 credit score.

Your age also doesn’t limit you to a particular number. It may be possible to have a FICO score higher than 660.

Your credit score can make a huge difference in your life. Develop smart money habits and use savvy tactics to improve your FICO score, and you’ll improve your chances for a secure financial future.

Sources