Experian releases 8th annual state of credit report1

Experian Releases 8th Annual “State of Credit Report”

Date: June 24, 2020

Experian conducted its eighth annual “State of Credit Report,” which shows that the average credit scores have increased almost to the level of pre-recession numbers. The study also ranked the cities with the highest and lowest credit score averages and sets forth various generational insights.

This past year, the study showed that origination volumes increased and that consumer confidence is up 25 percent year-over-year, an increase of more than 16 percent over 2007 levels. The national credit score average also increased two points to 675, which is just four points less than the average a decade ago.

Below are more results from Experian’s study on credit in 2017:

Credit Snapshot of the Nation

Average VantageScore675
Average Number of Credit Cards3.1
Average Balance on Credit Cards$6,354
Average Number of Retail Cards2.5
Average Balance on Retail Cards$1,841
Average Mortgage Debt$201, 811
Average Non-Mortgage Debt$24,706

As part of this annual study, Experian also ranked U.S. cities by credit score.

Top 10 highest average credit scores by city

2017 highest rankingsCityState2017 average VantageScore
1MinneapolisMinn.709
2RochesterMinn.708
3MankatoMinn.708
4WausauWis.706
5Green BayWis.705
6DuluthMinn.704
7Sioux FallsS.D.704
8San FranciscoCalif.703
9La CrosseWis.703
10MadisonWis.703


Bottom 10 lowest average credit scores by city

2017 lowest rankingsCityState2017 average VantageScore
1GreenwoodMiss.624
2AlbanyGa.626
3HarlingenTexas631
4LaredoTexas635
5RiversideCalif.636
6Corpus ChristiTexas638
7OdessaTexas640
8MonroeLa.640
9MontgomeryAla.640
10ShreveportLa.640

Each city manages credit differently, and the same is true for different generations.

  • While Generation Z is young and still establishing credit, Gen Z members are off to a strong start by keeping the numbers of their credit cards and the amounts of their credit balances low. They are building their credit using different methods than did older generations before them. They have larger student loan debts and fewer credit cards and department store cards, yet they seem to be relying on many of the same credit behaviors as Millennials, such as keeping their debt low and managing it well. Experian expects that trend to continue.
  • Generation Y/Millennials are also managing their credit well. As a result, the level of their average credit scores continue to climb, and has increased four points over the past year. They have also reduced their overall average debt by eight percent, and have increased their mortgage debt by an additional six percent, which is a positive sign for this generation.
  • Generation X has an average credit score of 658, along with the highest average mortgage debt of all generations. They also have a high level of late payments when compared to the national average. Scores for Gen X members have improved over the past year, so it appears as if they have been managing their debts better than they have in the past, but with the highest debts in all categories, this generation needs to proceed with some caution.
  • Baby Boomers continue to carry quite a bit of debt, specifically mortgage debt. They have the lowest level of late payments of all the generations. With many Baby Boomers approaching retirement, they need to continue their positive credit behaviors to sail into their golden years.
  • As the oldest generation, the Silent Generation still has a lot of mortgage debt, but members are keeping the level of their other debts low and making payments on time. They have the best average credit score (729) of all generations, as well as the lowest level of late payments.

An infographic containing additional data on the generational differences is available on the Experian website and below:

For more information on Experian’s eighth annual “State of Credit” Report, visit: https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/state-of-credit/