-Average FICO score hit 703 in 2019, a record high
- 59% of Americans had credit scores of 700 or better, according to Experian
- Millennials fueled improved credit scores
2019 was a big year in the credit score world. Average credit scores hit an all-time high of 703 and, according to Experian, Millennials drove that score surge.
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Of course, the strong labor market in 2019 had a direct relationship with this strong credit score average. The unemployment rate hit a 50-year low of 3.5%. January 2020 saw an unemployment rate of 3.6%, according to the Department of Labor Statistics.
Experian’s report noted that Millennials drove these improved credit scores. “Millennials, ages 24-39 in 2020, now outnumber Baby Boomers and are finally hitting their credit stride. Their economic emergence is reflected by a 25-point increase in their average FICO score since 2012 – the biggest increase of any generation.”
Today, the average age of a person with a credit score of 700 or above is 59 years old. Nine years ago, a person with an average credit score of 700 was 62 years old.
According to Shannon Lois, Experian’s head of analytics, consulting and operations, said, “Americans are making better credit decisions which is an indication of consumers being more educated about their credit.”
Record high credit scores and 50-year low unemployment rates are all well and good BUT, stagnant wages are not. The median income in December 2019 was $65,666, according to a report by Sentier Research. Adjusted for inflation, that $65,666 median income represented a gain of just +1.1% compared to the year before.
Thanks to HousingWire’s Kathleen Howley for source data.