Is Your Credit Score Above Average?

The average credit score is 703.*

In the mortgage home buying world, 703 is meh. It’s good enough to get a conventional loan (which is better than FHA), but a 703 score does not qualify for the best and lowest 30-year fixed rate.

For the best interest rate, you need a score of 740+. Some lenders will reward you with an even better rate if your score is in a 780 tier or 800 tier. Those are the lenders that cater to the creme de la creme borrowers.

In 2013, the average credit score was 691. Scores have been trending upward since then.

The graphic at top right shows the average score by age group.

The state with the highest average credit score is Minnesota at 733.

The state with the lowest average credit score is Louisiana at 677.

Some people have taken the steering wheel and boosted their scores by 50, 80, and even 100+ points. I’ve seen a score increase by 58 points in two weeks when the person paid down two high balance credit cards.

There are several ways to increase your score, and it all starts with paying every bill on time–every time.

The fastest way to increase your score is to lower your balance-to-limit ratio.

One way to hurt your score without knowing it is to open a new revolving credit card when you’ve already got two good cards open.

Another way to get blindsided is by not monitoring your automatic payments. I saw a person’s score knock him down by 50 points, because he didn’t know his student loan had been sold and his bank didn’t send the auto-payment to the new creditor. When he called to get it straightened out, the representative told him not to worry, they weren’t reporting him as late. But that turned out to be a lie. His credit report showed a brand new late payment, which cost him thousands of dollars in interest payments.

Having a high credit score also affects your auto insurance premium. Many drivers have no idea they are being charged more on their auto insurance because their credit scores are not top tier.

We are now in 2020. This is the time to take control of your credit. Grab a quick, easy read here so that you are smart about credit. Being smart about credit is being smart about money.

I don’t know anyone who has money to waste, do you? Make 2020 your year for excellence!

*(2019 second quarter, FICO8 Scoring Model) Experian Source here