Credit Score History: Are You Above Average?

Your credit score history can have a tremendous influence over many different factors in your life. While many people believe that their credit history is in the dumps, they may be surprised to learn about the national credit history average in the United States and national norms when it comes to credit payment history.

National Averages

The national average credit score is 680. Generally, this is a surprising fact to many people. However, this information is based on a recent study conducted by Experian, which is one of the three major credit reporting agencies. The other two agencies are TransUnion and Equifax. It is surprising, however, that according to the Experian study, only 13 percent of the general population has what is considered to be an average credit score.

Credit Scores

Not everyone, of course, has a credit score of 680. Some people have lower scores and some people have higher scores. The highest score possible is 850 and the lowest possible is 300.

What is considered to be a “good” credit score is an average of 700. However, what the Experian study also revealed is that a staggering 58 percent of the population actually have credit scores higher than 700 and that 15 percent of the population have poor credit scores of 550 or below.

What Credit Scores Influence

Credit scores influence more than just whether or not you will be approved for credit if you apply for a credit card or a home or auto loan, although that is certainly part of how credit score are used.
Credit scores are also used to determine what your interest rate will be if you apply for credit, what rates you will pay for life or auto insurance and even whether or not you will be offered a job in some cases. More and more, credit information is being used to determine events that seem to have little to do with actual credit, but can control major parts of everyday life.

As a result, it is important to not only use credit wisely, but also to carefully and regularly monitor your credit report.

Annual Credit Report

By law, everyone is allowed at least one free credit report every year from each of the three credit reporting agencies and if you have been denied credit, insurance or a job due to information contained on your credit report, you are also entitled to a free copy of your credit report.

Once you receive your free copy, carefully review all of the information. It is estimated that a full 25 percent of consumers have invalid or erroneous information on their credit reports. If you find this to be true on your own report, write any necessary letters to the credit reporting agencies challenging the incorrect information. By law, they are required to conduct an investigation and remove any incorrect information within 30 days.

Summary

The average credit score is only 680 and many people are surprised when they compare that number to their own credit history report. In today’s world, credit history is a central piece of information that influences more than just credit and lending. As a result, careful use of credit and monitoring of credit reports falls more and more to the consumer in order to assure accuracy.



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