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What is the average credit score in America?

Published September 14, 2023
4 min read

Table of contents

Key Points About: The Average FICO® Score

  1. The average FICO® Credit Score is 716.

  2. Categories like your payment history and credit usage help make up your credit score.

  3. You can help your credit score by paying down your credit card debt and making consistent, on-time payments.

Do you know how your credit score compares to the national average? According to the Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO), the average credit score as of April 2022 is 716.1

Your credit score may affect your interest rate on loans and credit cards, so knowing the average credit score and what factors can impact your credit may help you improve your financial situation. 

How do you fare compared to the average FICO® Score? Even if you’re not quite there yet with your credit, the Discover it® Secured Credit Card helps you build/rebuild your credit history.2

Learn More About Secured Cards

What is a good credit score?

What is considered a good credit score to qualify for credit will depend on the lender. However, you can check which credit score range you fall into based on the FICO credit scoring model. 

FICO® Score Ranges

  • Very poor: 300 to 579
  • Fair: 580 to 669
  • Good: 670 to 739
  • Very good: 740 to 799
  • Excellent: 800 to 850

Based on this scoring model, according to FICO, the national average score of 716 is considered good credit. But even if you have good credit, there are other factors that go into credit approval. For example, besides your FICO® Score, credit card issuers may also look at your income and monthly housing payments before giving you a card. 

What makes up a credit score?

According to FICO, your FICO® Credit Score is calculated using the information in your credit report:

Payment history (35%)

Lenders want to know whether you’ve paid your past credit accounts on time. This helps lenders figure out your credit risk (how likely you are to pay your debt back).

Amounts owed (30%)

Another key factor that lenders look at is the amount of available credit that you’re using (your credit utilization ratio). If you are using too much of your available credit, this may show lenders that you are overextended and may have trouble paying back your debts. 

Length of credit history (15%)

Lenders also look at how long you’ve been borrowing money and how well you have managed those credit accounts. In general, a longer credit history is considered positive, but even if you don’t have credit history yet, you can build a credit history with a secured card.

Credit mix (10%)

Your credit mix is the different kinds of credit accounts that you have, like credit cards, personal loans, and mortgages. Your credit mix makes up a small part of your credit score. 

New credit (10%)

Your FICO® Credit Score also looks at the number of new credit applications you have. Opening several credit accounts in a short amount of time can show lenders that you have more credit risk.  

How can I get good credit?

If you have poor credit (or what you consider bad credit), there are steps you can take that may help your credit score:

Clear up errors on your credit report: You should check your credit report for any errors. For example, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, if there is a credit account you don’t recognize on your credit report, it can be a sign of identity theft. If you find any errors on your credit report, you can dispute it with the credit bureau or the original creditor. If the credit bureau or creditor finds that an error happened, they can remove the information from your credit file.

Pay down your balances: Your credit utilization ratio makes up 30% of your FICO® Score, so keeping the balances down on your credit cards is important. If you’re close to using up your limit on your cards, you should try to pay down your credit card debt to keep your credit usage low.

Pay your credit card bill on time: Your payment history makes up 35% of your FICO® Credit Score. According to the Federal Reserve Board, a missed or late payment can impact your credit score—and if your account is very late it may be sent to collections. You should aim to make consistent, on-time payments.

Open a secured credit card: If you have a low credit score or are new to credit, getting a secured card may help you build your credit history. Secured cards typically require a deposit that’s refundable after you show good credit management. For example, with a Discover it® Secured Credit Card, you can upgrade to an unsecured card after 6 consecutive on time payments and 6 months of good status on all your credit accounts.3

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