What Is the Average Credit Score by 18?

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The average credit score by age 18 is 679.

Source: Experian Q3 2022

A good credit score can help you apply for loans, pay less for insurance, and qualify for lower interest rates. For young adults, starting to build credit earlier than later can make the biggest difference in the future. 

Learn more about the average credit scores by age group in the United States and how to build credit starting at 18. 

Average Credit Score by Age

The average credit score fluctuates between age groups. The more years you have to build credit, the higher your credit score can be—as evident in these average credit scores from 2022 You can measure the credit scores below as good credit scores

Age Group

Average Credit Score

18-25

679

26-41

687

42-57

706

58-76

742

77+

760

Experian® Q3 2022

Average Credit Score by 20

The average credit score for those aged 18 to 25 is 679. This average credit score is the lowest on our list because this age group is just beginning to build their credit scores Lower earnings, student loans, and higher credit card usage can impact credit scores. 

Average Credit Score by 30

The average credit score for those aged 26 to 41 is 687. This age group is building their credit along with higher salaries. This age group may be paying off education loans or large investments like cars and homes. 

Average Credit Score by 40 – 50 

The average credit score for those aged 42 to 57 is 706. This age group is investing more in retirement finances and working to reduce debt and large investments like mortgages. 

Average Credit Score by 60 and Higher 

The average credit score for those aged 58 to 76 is 742. For those older than 77, the average credit score is 760. These groups are either stepping into retirement or enjoying the rewards of retirement life. These groups may be working off a debt to have minimal debt going into retirement or avoiding accumulating debt altogether. These groups have the highest credit scores due to their ability to pay off debts and build credit scores over the years. 

Average Credit Score by State

As of September 2022, Minnesota had the highest average credit score at 742, whereas Mississippi had the lowest average credit score at 680. Overall, the southern states produced lower credit scores than the northwestern and midwestern states.

How to Build Credit at 18 

Building credit sooner than later will provide you with more loan options and lower interest rates. There are many ways to start building credit and improving your credit. 

1. Improve Your Financial Literacy

Before building credit, it’s important to learn about credit management and personal finance. Spend some time researching how credit works and how to make the best financial decisions for your circumstances. Take a look at Credit.com’s extensive tips and guides for further help and information. 

2. Get a Starter Credit Card

Your first option to start building your credit is with a secured credit card. A secured credit card is much easier to apply for. However, it requires a security deposit. This security deposit acts as collateral in case you can’t make your credit card payments. Be sure the credit card company you choose reports to the three major credit reporting agencies. 

From here, begin using your starter credit to build your credit and submit your monthly payments on time. 

3. Become an Authorized User

If you have a family member or friend with a credit card and a good credit score, you can ask them to add you as an authorized user. Just double-check that their credit card company reports authorized user information to the credit bureaus, or this won’t work. 

As an authorized user, you don’t need to access the account owner’s credit card or even use the account to reap its credit benefits. When you’re an authorized user, the on-time credit payments made by the account owner are automatically reflected on your credit report. Becoming an authorized user is a great way to quickly start building your credit. However, if the account owner doesn’t submit payments on time, this can negatively impact you. 

4. Submit Payments on Time 

This may be the most important way to build credit, as payment history makes up 35% of your FICO® credit score. It’s crucial to make credit card payments on time, so it’s best to only take on debt if you can pay it off by the time it’s due. If your payment is 30 days past due, your credit card company can report it, which would likely hurt your credit score. 

5. Check Your Credit Report

Monitor your credit report regularly. Although uncommon, payment inaccuracies and misinformation found on your credit report can drop your credit score. You are legally entitled to one free credit report each year from the three major credit reporting agencies. If you see an error on your credit report, you can dispute it with the agency. 

FAQ

Below are frequently asked questions about your credit score and how to improve it. 

What Is the Average U.S. Credit Score?

In September 2022, the average U.S. credit score was 714, which is unchanged from 2021. 

When Does Your Credit Score Build the Most? 

Your credit score builds the most when you’re actively contributing to improving your credit score. Establishing initial credit in a good range (around 670 – 700 or higher) can take at least six months, but building your credit up to a good credit score can take several years. Practicing good credit management, like submitting payments on time, will make the biggest difference in how fast your credit builds up. 

How Do You Find Your Credit Score?

It’s important to check your credit score regularly. There are a few ways to get your credit score, such as:

  • Look at your credit card or loan statement: Most credit card, loan, and bank institutions provide credit scores for customers. You may be able to find an up-to-date credit score on your most recent bank statement. 
  • Use a credit score service: Use a free or subscription-based credit score service to see your credit score. Some credit scoring sites provide a free trial for new users to test out their site, during which you can check your credit score. 
  • Apply for a free credit report: The three major credit reporting agencies must legally provide you with a free credit report every year upon request. You may request your credit report from Experian®, Equifax®, or TransUnion®. 

You should also check your credit report regularly to verify your credit report is free of any inaccuracies or misinformation. 

Review Your Next Credit Report With Credit.com

Now that you know the average credit score by 18 (679), it’s time to start building your credit. Setting up financial goals and practicing good credit management will help you build credit. 

Curious about your financial health? Get graded with our free credit report card to see what is affecting your credit score.

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