Sign up for your free Credit.com account    Sign Up Now
From the Experts at Credit.com

What is the Average Credit Score?

by Gerri Detweiler

What Is Average Credit Score

If you’re wondering what the average credit score is, you’re probably really wondering how your credit score compares to others. You may also be wondering if it’s good enough to get approved for a loan or a credit account.

While the average credit score sounds like a simple enough figure to pin down, it’s a little more complicated than you may realize.

What’s My Score?

First things first. If you want to know how strong your credit is, you’ll need to know your credit score. You can find out by using Credit.com’s free Credit Report Card. Not only will you get a truly free credit score, you’ll also find out how your credit score compares to state and national averages.

Which Score?

Another thing you’ll need to know when comparing your number to others is which credit score model is being used to calculate the score, and what credit score range is being used.

There are many different credit score models, including versions of VantageScore, FICO scores and even educational credit scores. Some of these have different credit score ranges, so while VantageScore 3.0 and FICO scores run from 300 – 850, there are others that run from 501-990 or 360 – 840, for example.

What’s A Good Score?

Again, different models have different ranges, and lenders make their own decisions about what they consider acceptable. But here’s an example using the ranges from Credit.com’s credit card comparison tool:

  • Excellent (750+)
  • Good (700 – 749)
  • Fair (650 – 699)
  • Poor (600 – 649)
  • Bad (below 599)

Again, what’s considered a good or fair credit score will depend on how the lender views it, but you can get an idea of how lenders are likely to view your applications by checking your score and seeing how it compares to others.

Average Credit Score

Still hoping to find some numbers?

As of the 2nd quarter of 2013, the average VantageScore for consumers with an existing auto loan and lease was 761; for those with a bankcard it was 796 and for those with a mortgage it was 819. (This is using the classic version of the VantageScore which runs on a scale from 501-990. Data from Experian’s IntelliView tool.)

As of October 2012, the average FICO score is 689 according to MyFICO.com.

For up to date credit score averages – including how your score compares to others in your state and nationwide, use Credit.com’s free Credit Report Card.


  • Liz

    Anonymous, you hit it right on the nail. My family and I are very loyal to our homeowner, who we’ve been renting a home from for almost 9 years (all payments made on time), and we now have to move. However, we’ve been having difficulty getting a loan due to our bad credit scores (though we all work very hard). Maybe one day we’ll own a house, though we can only hope.

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      I know it can seem really daunting to build credit. Things are moving in the direction to include rent on credit reports. Eventually that will help renters like you who pay on time.

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    It was actually 689 the last time that FICO released that number about a year and a half ago.

  • tim

    Credit score is just another way corporations can extract rent from consumers.

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    Pippy – It’s very hard to tell. Have you ordered copies of your credit reports? It’s possible there is a mistake on them. Or their could be a collection account you aren’t aware of (such as a medical bill that went to collections). Here’s how to get your free annual credit reports. That’s where I suggest you start.

    • the6mule

      Well believe it or not I don’t know what revolving credit is and I still have a 789 cs.

      • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

        Revolving credit is credit that rolls over and can be used again (like a credit card). It is different from installment credit (like a car loan), which must be paid until the balance is zero and is not reusable. Hope that helps explain it

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    It sounds like you are taking the right steps. As the information gets older is does have less impact. Have you obtained your free credit score from Credit.com? If so I’ll be happy to try to help you understand it.

  • Mike johnson

    i was “up there” with a 798 credit score ..not a single late payment from 18-33..after buying a home and having a car loan..i lost my job and was unable to find related work at a comparable compensation : story? bankruptcy a pay cut and a now 640 credit score …i used to have pride like you ..until fate dealt my a nice blow..so be careful how you gloat

  • B. Bissonette

    I disagree strongly. The FICO system isn’t biased. It is a good indicator of ones ability to pay back debt. It’s also possible to have a very poor credit rating and within 7 years have an excellent rating. As already mentioned paying your monthly payment on time and staying under 20% of open credit line will benefit huge. It’s takes several years to get an excellent credit score and about 90 days to have a poor score. People that have paid their debts on time and show a long history of this should get the best rates. They earned it. It wasn’t just given to them. While it is true that those with hits on their credit will pay a much higher interest rate they will also be required to put down a substantial down payment and have co-signer(s) willing to put up collateral. Their past history will typically follow suit. Lenders want people to pay their loans. They aren’t in the business to foreclose or recover assets from non paying borrowers. If the general public would smarten up and stop living paycheck to paycheck burdened with debt and get ahead of it then they would never have to worry about if they are approved. If they stopped missing payments and filing for bankruptcy protection the interest rates would drop down for everyone and borrowing would be much easier. It’s already been proven that having a lot of high risk loans has a huge detrimental impact when they aren’t paid back. Housing bubble = huge lending mistake. People were approved for mortgages that shouldn’t have been period. This caused a surge in real estate price then pop. Here we are now. All they did is just set back all the debtors who borrowed during that time and didn’t default on their loans. Instead they are upside down in their mortgage. What are they getting from the government? Not a thing. Instead their property value will barely cover the inflation rate for years to come.

  • B. Bissonette

    You should have cleared the debt before the marriage was dissolved. There’s nothing written that will physically force a person to do something. Having anything written into a divorce decree such as former spouse assuming all responsibility of paying the debt are not worth the paper they are written on as you now realize. You had a joint loan and it will always be a joint loan till the debt is payed and the line of credit closed married or not.

    • formericelaker

      I hate it when people are expected to play by rules they don’t know & that nobody has bothered to tell them.

  • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

    Have you looked at your score since you got the secured card? (Here’s how to monitor your credit score for free.) You’re not far from having a score that is considered “fair” (650-699) rather than poor, and that will give you more options for credit cards. And yes, a higher limit could help, because part of your credit score is related to how much of your available credit you are actually using. (Try to keep is below 30%; below 10% is even better.) But paying on time, which you are already doing, is the very best thing you can do for your credit. You’ll find other tips here:
    How to Build Credit the Smart Way

  • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

    We’re not sure where you are getting the information that you need to carry a balance — and we disagree. It is a popular misconception though. We wrote about it here: Can Paying Off Debt Hurt My Credit?

  • Realist

    Making the average score “poor” is a way to get you to pay for credit reports and credit activity reports. You need to improve, and pay us money.

  • Rosalea Moore

    I don’t think she knows how arrogant she sounds. Give her a break.

    • formericelaker

      Thank you. The tone was unintentional.

      • Andee Sparrow

        I thought u sounded fine and my credit sucks. It’s true that everyone handles money differently. I’m jealous that you are able to pay so efficiently and timely. I actually picked up a few pointers. Thanks for the info.

  • Rosalea Moore

    Pride cometh before a fall, my dear. I know. I was like you at one time and never ever would I’ve thought my credit would sink to what it is today. Today, I am a more humble person as I work to re-build my credit.

  • MollyMcGuier

    Wow, when i bought my house back in 99, over 600 was a decent credit score…. Sitting at 700 only because of my wife’s due diligence I thought that I was KING of the credit score… After paying my house off 19 years early JP Morgan-Chase thought it would be funny to place a foreclosure and bankruptcy upon my credit report. I am NOT kidding. The worst thing I ever did regarding my home loan was to be maybe a week late with a payment. I only noticed this egregious error after agreeing to co-sign a loan for my brother-in-law. I am still thinking of suing. A year later after many phone calls and one where I asked for a manager telling her she was being recorded and That I was being filmed for a Michael Moore movie did i finally get results. So where was I? Well it’s 2014 the kids are getting older and my wife wants a new kitchen and siding on the house. Me? I’d rather live in the woods in a trailer. Anyway, she is my queen and i am her fool so she gets what she wants. Securing 30k while living in a house wort 200k should be no problem, or so I thought. With under 7k in debt besides my wife’s auto loan I figured that I would be the shot caller on this loan. Yes, the banks wanted to give but they wanted to give way more than the 30k i was seeking. They also wanted 15 year agreements… Things went south quick and i headed to the SAFE HAVEN of a CREDIT UNION. Nope! I’ve been done with banks for years and NOW—– I plan on keeping it that way. At the credit union I was a PERSON. I actually knew the loan officer and a few board members. Not that this insured my loan but it gave me great confidence that my voice would be heard even with the mathematical formulas that decide your credit score and ones ability to re-pay loans. We all know what happens when banks lend in a predatory manner… Think 2008…. The credit union is not in the business of loosing money nor is it in the business of making your life a living hell like Jp Morgan did for me.
    After a little back and forth we settled on a 6 year loan of 30k at 4.25% interest. Sounds great but that interest is front end loaded and guarantees the Union will make about 3k by the time I pay them back. I accept this as the price of doing business. At 10 or 15 years that 3k would increase substantially. I wanted a 7 year loan they countered with 6 hoping I would take the 10. I didn’t need to do the math. I was expecting 5 and i would have taken that. I pretended to take 24hr to think about it. So here I sit with 30k and can’t find a damn decent contractor to do any work!! Oh the irony of life… By my calculations, this loan and my wife’s handling of my Paypal account and 1 credit card should secure me a 750-790 within the next 5 years. I am not one who likes to dwell on financial issues and I thank God every day for my wife and her keeping of our finances. To those of you who are young and just starting out… The best advice I can offer is to live within your means. You do not have to keep up with anyone. A home is a home. If I had millions I still wouldn’t move. Get a credit card that you can pay off monthly or keep a very small balance. SAVE, SAVE, and SAVE. Do not invest in anything! The stock market is going to CRASH BAD within the next 10 years. keep your 401k’s in the lowest safest place they can be. Do not listen to the BS of riding it out for the long run…. I saw people loose fortunes. Lastly and most importantly,—— KNOW your NEEDS from your WANTS…. You will be amazed by what you could live without…. Good Luck

    • just my point of view

      It is interesting to me how some place blame or accuse others of gloating. Really it is what it is. We try and ssucceed or possibly fail. It doesnt always go well and thats just the way it is. There are outside forces beyond anyones control that can divert a perfect path to an imperfect path. Take it with a grain of salt, keep a good attitude and fight the good fight. No one gets through life with no troubles. Accept it without placing blame, thats life.Blessings.

      • MollyMcGuier

        Acceptance, gratitude, & LOVE my brother… If only I had the humility & humble pie to go along with them. On my best days I DO. Knowledge meets wisdom and melds in my mind. Maybe I get a good start on a short story. Maybe I can verbalize to my wife how much that I love her and all that she means to me. Maybe, just maybe, on the best of the best days my kids WANT to hear what I have to say. Maybe they ask for advice. maybe they thank me for previous advice. Maybe they just say, “I love you Dad…(?) Happy holidays my friend

  • itsme

    We shouldn’t use our credit cards as an instant loan for things we can’t afford? What happens when you need something right away like a car repair and don’t have the money? Save up for it instead? What if you don’t make enough money to save? It’s so easy to say you can pay off credit card(s) in full every month when you have the sufficient income to do so but what do you do when you lose a job at no fault of your own and can’t get another one right away to pay your bills on time or at all? BTW, my elders did a fantastic job at raising me, religiously or not; the true problem lies with those in the work place who can’t seem to accept and allow people to remain at a job which reasonably leads to people defaulting on their credit!

    • mrcontinental

      Her statements are correct.

      Debt is a trap that is meant to keep you enslaved.

      There is no requirement that says that you have to have a car, but if you do have one you need to be able to maintain it and if you can’t maintain it that means that you cannot afford one. Cars break down when they are not maintained so the money people think they are saving skipping maintenance always comes back to bite them in the end.

      I know people who take on massive car notes for 5 or more years on a car that will have lost 70 percent or more of it’s value in that amount of time – bad decision so they save nothing.

      Or the person who saves $5000 for a vehicle and instead of buying a $3000 vehicle and saving some for expenses they spend it all – bad decision so they save nothing.

      A person doesn’t have to make a lot of money to save, they just need to not become a debt slave and not spend what they don’t have.

  • formericelaker

    Oh my. Didn’t expect the backlash my original comment caused. Just wanted to a) tell people how I manage to have an excellent score, and b) give credit where it’s due — who taught me this way.

    As for, “What about when unexpected expenses like a car repair comes up?” Both before & after marriage I always kept (& continue to set aside) some money in savings as a “rainy day fund” for just this sort of thing. Financial experts recommend “pay yourself first” I.E. Set aside 10% of your pay in savings as a cushion against the unexpected. Most of the time that’s been what I did. Same after marriage. Before I married I never earned more than $30k per year, so it’s not like I was wealthy or something.

    I’m mainly letting people know how I do it.

    When I wrote “Except it’s not for many people,” that was meant to acknowledge that I understand it’s a struggle for many and that I’ve been blest in many ways that others haven’t.

    • Jeff

      You were not being at all arrogant, just giving great advice. Too many people want to demonize people that are responsible and sensible in order to lessen the burden of their own poor decisions. Lost your job? Where is your savings? Why are you in such debt that you can’t recover from being out of work for a period of time, etc… I’m definitely not prepared to lose an income, but I realize that it’s my own decision making in the past that would put me in jeopardy… If you play with fire…

  • amphibia

    I salute you formericelaker! I will keep that in mind! That’s the right way to do and we all know that and we should learn to discipline and ourselves!

  • windyblue

    yea mine is worse than that and I am working on getting it better. I just pray I do.

  • kimirose

    I’m guessing you are lucky enough to have a high-paying job, Ray? I was at one time making six-figures and had a credit score of over 800. When my job was sent overseas, I had to short sell my house and sell everything. I am back on track now but with a much lower-paying job. I pay ALL of my bills on time, sometimes early, and always pay over the minimum payment on my credit card. Yet somehow, I am still only considered average in terms of credit risk because of the short sell due to my job being outsourced – completely out of my control. I still maintain the same financially responsible habits, have for nearly six years since my layoff, yet my score is still only “Fair.” I’m not whining, and I work extremely hard 40 hours a week to make ends meet, so please don’t make the assumption that everybody who has a “fair” credit score is some kind of lazy bum. That is an extremely arrogant assumption.

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    We try to use the blog as a place to help consumers get answers to their credit questions rather than a place to point fingers (in either direction). So I’d asked that we close this discussion so we can focus on answering questions for consumers to have them. Thank you.

  • Brandon Hedger

    I went to prison and mine dropped over 150 points due to unpaid bills….
    I wish I could come up with a simple solution to solve this now I not only have bad credit I have extremely bad credit. I don’t have a chance in the world of regaining what was taken from me…

    I was just trying to help!!! Oppp’s

    The point is usually to take a bad guy and make him good…
    Instead they tried a different approach and made a good guy bad…
    I can’t even find a good enough job to get started……
    I went from making $100000+ a year, to nothing what a transition…

    I only have god and my morals left…
    Other than that the still have my hands behind my back and they refuse to cut the chain in fact I believe they are trying to tighten them…

    Coming from a World wide artist…
    You think it would be easier to get these things taken care of…
    All I need is a paint brush….
    Maybe some money would be nice…

    I was the artist of the portraits on the USD currency…
    You’d think they would have a higher role for someone like me…
    I mean my signature isn’t worth much now, but like most times in society you don’t realise what you missed out on til it’s gone.

    If there where only some way for me to make this right…
    I don’t believe it start’s with me yet, Then again maybe it does…
    It’s only our currency….

    And yet people have yet to ask me the question as to why I got to take on this role. I may not understand fully.

    I know that a list of my accomplishments goes on for quite some time….
    I wouldn’t know where to start…..

    My credit is that of an average american I tried to get a loan and had to go through a loan shark… One who charges an illegal interest rate..

    That should be noted……

    Things are not as bad as they seem if you look into the legalities of everything….

    I will find the best solution possible, if I die trying…..


Sign up for your free Credit.com account. Learn More
  • Meet Our Expert

    gerri_detweiler GravatarGerri Detweiler is Credit.com's Director of Consumer Education. She focuses on helping people understand their credit and debt, and writes about those issues, as well as financial legislation, budgeting, debt recovery and savings strategies. She is also the co-author of Debt Collection Answers: How to Use Debt Collection Laws to Protect Your Rights, and Reduce Stress: Real-Life Solutions for Solving Your Credit Crisis as well as host of TalkCreditRadio.com.
  • Stay Connected to Our Experts

    Please submit your email address to get credit & money tips & advice
    from our team of 30+ experts, delivered weekly to your inbox.