- The average FICO score in the U.S. is 704.
- A decline in lower-range scores and fewer credit inquiries are some of the factors that aided the rise.
- You can keep your FICO score high by maintaining responsible credit habits.
The average FICO score in the U.S. is currently 704, representing an all-time high, according to FICO. Since hitting rock bottom at 686 in October 2009 — scores range from a low of 300 to a high of 850 — the national average FICO score has been on the rise for eight years straight.
Hopefully, yours is among those credit scores in good health. Take a look at some of the habits that got Americans to this impressive point.
Click through to learn how to raise your credit score (almost) overnight.
Scores in the Lowest Range Are on the Decline
One factor playing into a higher average FICO score is that fewer Americans are scoring in the lowest ranges — below 550 — and more are scoring in the excellent range — 800-plus. For example, only 11 percent of the population scored below 550 in April 2018, compared with 15.9 percent in April 2010. Likewise, 21.8 percent of consumers scored 800 and above in April 2018, compared with just 17.9 percent in April 2010.
Fewer Consumers Have Derogatory Indicators on File
Payment history accounts for approximately 35 percent of your total FICO score, so collection agency accounts on file have a huge impact. The good news is that the percent of consumers with at least one collection agency account on file has fallen from 25.8 percent in 2017 to 23 percent in 2018.
Consumers with credit scores in the lower ranges — below 660 — might have benefitted from the National Consumer Assistance Plan, a change in the required reporting practices that impacted collections accounts starting in the second half of 2017, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
Have a Lower Credit Score? Use These: 9 Ways to Raise Your Credit Score
The Number of Credit Inquiries Has Declined
The percentage of consumers with at least one hard inquiry — posted on file when a consumer applies for credit — tumbled to 42.2 percent, marking a four-year low. The number of inquiries on file isn’t hugely important to a credit score, but FICO noted that a higher number of inquiries has been linked to increased repayment risk, which factors into the score.
What to Do Now That You’ve Got a Good Credit Score
Now that Americans have a solid credit score for the first time ever, it’s important to maintain the good habits that made this achievement possible. FICO recommends not taking on too much debt, paying down debt to maintain a good debt-to-income ratio and making payments on time.
Click through to read more about three things you can do now if you have a 600 credit score.
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