The national average credit score depends on several factors. It also depends on the entity you asked. Below are the basic parameters for the same. It is worth noting that the national average changes on a regular basis. If there is a range that is provided, use the higher value. If there is no range, add a few points.
This is arguably the most acceptable scoring model in the United States, and most other countries. FICO stands for Fair Isaac Corporation. This scoring system ranges from 300 to 850 (lowest to highest). As of the third quarter of 2013 (March), the average credit score for Unites States fluctuates at around 630 to 640. To put things in perspective, as of the last quarter of 2012 the national average was 634 (FICO).
VantageScore is another scoring method. The same is being popularized by the top three credit bureaus Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. They utilize the same 5 categories used by FICO but with some modifications. This includes additional categories. This scoring system ranges from 501 to 990. Taking into account the different computation and the different point system, VantageScore has a different national average. As of the third quarter of 2013 the same fluctuates from 735 to 750. The Experian website has the average credit score at 736 (VantageScore).
Credit scores are also averaged per state. This may be higher, lower, or the same as the national average. Most experts believe that this is actually the score that is more relevant in the US. Other experts believe that the best way to determine the actual median score is to reference both national and state scores. You do not average this, rather you look at the higher score, and you consider that as your average. Strictly speaking the same may not be as accurate, but it is the better choice. Why? This is because the goal of the consumer is better served.
National Average by Age
Some inquiring entities also consider the national average per age bracket. Currently the most popular bracket type is:
- 18 to 24
- 25 to 34
- 35 to 44
- 45 to 54
- 55 and above
This is relevant because it has been proven time and again that some age brackets are better equipped at handling their finances. The general rule is that the older one gets the higher the average.
National Average for Mortgages
If you are planning to take out a home loan, then you might want to refer to the national mortgage average. As of the last quarter of 2012 this was 734 (FICO). The same increased four points from the 2011 average. It is safe to assume that 734 (FICO) and above is your target score for 2013.
If you fall below the average (national, state, age, mortgage, etc.) it does not mean you will get disapproved. It only means that the chance of disapproval is higher. The chance that you get the worst interest rate is even higher. If you are above the average, it does not mean you will get the facility of credit or loan approval. Bear in mind, the national average is not your goal, it is your starting point!