Average Credit Scores Reach an 8-Year High
According to the 10th annual State of Credit report from Experian, the average VantageScore credit score in America has now increased to 682. Credit scores have been steadily on the rise for the last eight years, showing continued growth after the Recession.
The average card balances and number of credit cards has increased slightly over time, but not enough to be of concern. Americans now have an average of 3.07 credit cards, compared to 3.06 in 2017. Card balances have gone from $6,354 in 2017 to $6,629 in 2019.
One reason Americans have been able to preserve their credit scores is by keeping their credit utilization rate at 30% for the past three years. Credit utilization represents the amount of credit used versus the amount of credit available. Credit utilization rates above 30% have the potential to lower credit scores.
Women reported modestly higher credit scores than men for the third year in a row, averaging 686 and 682, respectively. Experian reports that women tend to have more credit cards and retail cards than men, but they maintain lower balances on those cards.
Americans appear to be on the right track for the start of a new decade. Delinquency rates have remained consistent, and non-mortgage debt is on a slow climb. Mortgage debt has increased nearly $30,000 since 2017, but most financial experts consider that “good debt” because it builds equity. As long as consumers can maintain positive payment histories, the future may be bright for credit in America.