What Is the Average Credit Score by Age?

You probably know your credit score, but have you ever wondered how you’re doing compared to your peers? 

Let’s explore the different generations, average credit scores by age bracket, and why credit scores tend to improve as we get older. 

What is a good credit score? 

A “good” credit score typically falls between 670 and 739, with some variation between the different credit scoring models. For instance, you might have the same score with two credit bureaus, but one might consider your score “good” and the other “fair” because they use different scoring criteria. 

Scores in the good range indicate you’re a responsible borrower with an on-time payment history. If you meet lender requirements, you may be able to be approved when you apply with them for credit. 

What is the average credit score for my age? 

average credit score by generation chart

For this article, we’ve explored average credit scores by generation using Experian’s consumer data from 2023

Generation Z: 680 credit score 

Credit score averages for Gen Z (born between 1997 and 2012) are the lowest of all age groups for valid reasons. Borrowers in this group are just beginning to establish financial independence and build a credit history, which takes time. 

Since they’re just starting out, young adults often open multiple credit accounts within a short time frame. Although they’re borrowing student loans, credit cards, and auto loans back-to-back, Gen Z borrowers who manage credit well may see their scores rise quickly. 

Millennials: 690 credit score 

The average credit range for Millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) is higher than that of Gen Z, but not as much as you might expect. 

Millennials have faced unique economic challenges, including disproportionate student debt, the 2008 housing market crash and recession, and a challenging job market. Compared to other generations, it’s been harder for Millennials to make the headway necessary to boost their credit.

Generation X: 709 credit score 

The average scores for Gen X (born between 1965 and 1980) cover a wide range, but they averaged just over 700 at the end of 2023. Some Gen Xers are doing well with their credit, whereas others have experienced financial setbacks due to major life events like divorce and bankruptcy.

Gen X borrowers have more debt than Baby Boomers, but many work in well-established careers, so they tend to have stronger incomes and assets. 

Baby Boomers: 745 credit score 

Borrowers in the Baby Boomer generation (born between 1946 and 1964) have decades of credit history and lean toward conservative financial decisions. They’re either retired or close to retirement age, so they’re focused on building assets, eliminating debt, and creating a financial plan for life without a full-time income. 

Silent Generation: 760 credit score 

There are several reasons why this generation has the highest average scores. Silent Generation borrowers (born between 1928 and 1945) have the longest credit histories; many have paid off mortgages and other debt. They tend to live within their means because they’re retired and living on fixed incomes. 

Better credit scores for older generations 

Is there a connection between age and credit score? In general, yes, because of how credit scores are calculated. 

Five factors affect a person’s credit score: credit history, credit utilization ratio, length of credit history, credit mix, and new credit. 

1. Credit history 

Your credit history is a record of your debts and payments. The more consistent you are with paying bills on time, the better your credit score. 

Late payments have a negative impact on your credit history. In fact, a single late payment can cause such a big dip in your credit score that it takes a year or more to recover. 

Older generations tend to have better credit histories because they’ve had a lot longer to make on-time payments and resolve financial mishaps. 

2. Credit utilization ratio 

Your credit utilization ratio is the total amount of credit you’re approved for divided by the balance you still owe. Typically, a credit utilization ratio of 30% or less increases your credit score. 

Each credit account balance you pay off decreases your ratio number, but only if you keep the zero-balance account open! Older borrowers have had time to lower balances or even pay off debt completely, so they have low credit utilization ratios, which contribute to higher scores. 

3. Length of credit history 

The length of your credit history is determined by how long you’ve had open credit accounts. As borrowers age, they’ll often stick with lenders they like and trust, so their credit accounts stay open longer. The longer you’ve had open credit accounts in good payment standing, the higher your credit score tends to be. 

4. Credit mix 

Credit mix refers to the different types of debt a borrower can have (i.e., credit cards, mortgages, installment loans, lines of credit, etc.). 

In general, the types of credit you get becomes more diverse as you age. For example, you may only have student loans during college. Eventually, you might apply for multiple credit cards and finance a car. Later, you add a mortgage to the mix. 

The more varied your credit accounts, the healthier your credit mix. 

5. New credit 

You may think the best way to boost your credit score is to pay off all your loans and keep just one or two credit cards. It’s more complicated than that. 

“New credit” refers to how often you open a credit account and add to your credit mix. Older borrowers tend to be savvier at spotting good financing or credit card deals like low APR balance transfers. Knowing the right time to apply for new credit is a skill that comes with experience. 

Experienced borrowers also tend to be more selective about the credit they apply for. They probably won’t apply for something they don’t want or need, so there aren’t unnecessary credit inquiries on their credit reports. 

10 tips to improve your credit score 

If you’re a young borrower or you’ve had some financial hiccups, your credit score might be lower than average for your age. While it’s tempting to feel discouraged, building your credit is possible at any age. It takes patience and consistent behavior, but following our strategies can help you move your credit score into the good range

1. Check your credit report regularly 

Mistakes happen, but incorrect information about late payments or unpaid debt can destroy your credit score. If you find errors, take steps to get them corrected right away! 

2. Make on-time payments 

Having a strong payment history makes a significant impact on your credit. In fact, even one late payment can set back your credit score significantly. Lenders like to see that you prioritize bills and have a habit of making payments by the due date. 

3. Pay down your balances 

If you can pay off balances quickly, great. Otherwise, slow and steady gets the job done, too. Learn about different strategies for getting out of debt, such as the debt snowball method, and work to strategically pay off your account balances. 

4. Don’t open too many accounts close together 

When you apply for new credit, don’t apply for more too soon. Your credit score needs time to recover from the recent hard credit pull, and another hard inquiry will drop your score again. Many financial experts recommend waiting 6-12 months between credit applications. 

5. Keep paid-off accounts open 

If you pay off a loan, the account closes, so you won’t have this option. But if you have a revolving credit account like a line of credit or a credit card, keep it open after you pay off the balance to include it in your credit utilization ratio. Then, keep the balance at zero! 

6. Diversify your credit accounts 

Add a different kind of credit to your history when you can. Consider adding a credit card if you’ve only ever had an auto loan. If you’ve only had traditional credit cards, look into store financing for a purchase you were planning to make. If you’ve got a mortgage, see about opening a HELOC. 

7. Get a credit-builder loan 

This is a loan for creating positive credit history information. It works by putting your loan funds into an account for safekeeping while you make payments on the loan. Once you make your final payment, you receive the loan funds. It’s the opposite of a traditional loan, but the benefit is your payment information is sent to the credit bureaus and becomes part of your credit history. 

8. Carefully consider every account you apply for 

Ask yourself if you need another credit account, loan, or financed purchase. Be brutal about anything that causes a hard inquiry on your credit report. If it’s not necessary, say “no” to it. Once your credit score is good, you can say “yes” sometimes. 

9. Use credit wisely 

If you currently have credit, use it as if you’re being graded – because you are! Your credit score is essentially a grade telling lenders how good you are about using your credit. Only use credit when necessary, keep balances low, and make payments on time. 

10. Become an authorized user 

Still not seeing the results you hoped for? A trusted friend or family member with good credit may be able to help. If they’re willing to make you an authorized user on their account, you could reap the benefits of their good credit behavior and see your credit score increase. There are risks to the account holder, however, and some lenders won’t report information on behalf of authorized users, so be sure to know the lender’s policies beforehand. 

Discover more ways to improve your credit 

Now you know how your credit score ranks against the average credit score by age. If you’re doing well, keep up the great work! If your credit score needs some help, our credit-building suggestions can put you on the path to having a credit score you’ll be proud of. 

Check out our other credit-building tips for more ideas on building credit and maintaining your financial health.

About the Author

Bree Ewers has contributed to Advance America since 2023. Writing from her home office in Portland, Oregon, she shares a relatable perspective on the financial triumphs and challenges many readers face.

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