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Experian’s Annual State of Credit Report

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of Experian and do not necessarily reflect the official position of VantageScore Solutions, LLC.

As consumers prepare for the next decade, Experian looked at how we’re rounding out this year. The results? The average American credit score is 682, an eight-year high.

Experian released the 10th annual state of credit report, which provides a comprehensive look at the credit performance of consumers across America by highlighting consumer credit scores and borrowing behaviors.

And while the data is spliced to show men vs. women, as well as provides commentary at the state and generational level, the overarching trend is up. Even with the next anticipated economic correction often top of mind for financial institutions, businesses and consumers alike, 2019 was a year marked by more access, more spending and decreasing delinquencies. Things are looking up.

“We are seeing a promising trend in terms of how Americans are managing their credit as we head into a new decade with average credit scores increasing two points since 2018 to 682 – the highest we’ve seen since 2011,” said Shannon Lois, Senior Vice President and Head of EAS, Analytics, Consulting & Operations for Experian Decision Analytics. “Average credit card balances and debt are up year over year, yet utilization rates remain consistent at 30 percent, indicating consumers are using credit as a financial tool and managing their debts responsibly.”

In the scope of the credit score battle of the sexes, women have a four-point lead over men with an average credit score of 686 compared to 682. Their lead is a continued trend since 2017 where they’ve bested their male counterparts. According to the report, while men carry more non-mortgage and mortgage debt than women, women have more credit cards and retail cards (albeit they carry lower balances).

Generationally, Generations X, Y and Z tend to carry more debt, including mortgage, non-mortgage, credit card and retail card, than older generations with higher delinquency and utilization rates.

Segmented by state and gender, Minnesota had the highest credit scores for both men and women, while Mississippi was the state with the lowest average credit score for females and Louisiana was the lowest average credit score state for males.

As we round out the decade and head full-force into 2020, we can reflect on the changes in the past year alone that are helping consumers improve their financial health. Just to name a few:

From what we can tell, this is just the beginning.

“Understanding the factors that influence their overall credit profile can help consumers improve and maintain their financial health,” said Rod Griffin, Experian’s director of consumer education and awareness. “Credit can be used as a financial tool. Through this report, we hope to provide insights that will help consumers make more informed decisions about credit use as we prepare to head into a new decade.”

3-year comparison

2017

2018

2019

Average number of credit
cards

3.06

3.04

3.07

Average credit card
balances

$6,354

$6,506

$6,629

Average number of retail
credit cards

2.48

2.59

2.51

Average retail credit card
balances

$1,841

$1,901

$1,942

Average VantageScore®[1,2]

675

680

682

Average revolving
utilization

30%

30%

30%

Average nonmortgage
debt[3]

$24,706

$25,104

$25,386

Average mortgage debt

$201,811

$208,180

$231,599

Average 30 days past due
delinquency rates

4.0%

3.9%

3.9%

Average 60 days past due
delinquency rates

1.9%

1.9%

1.9%

Average 90- 180 days past
due delinquency rates

7.3%

6.7%

6.8%

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