Despite being a financially tumultuous year for many, there were some economic upsides in 2020. Consumers spent less due to the coronavirus pandemic and paid more of their bills on time, likely contributing to the largest annual credit score increase nationally in the last decade, according to a new report.
Experian's 2020 Consumer Credit Review reports that the average credit score last year was 710, an all-time high and a 7-point increase since 2019. Nearly 70% of Americans had a credit score of 670 or higher, which the report calls a "good" credit score. Average scores increased in all states and Washington, D.C., and Minnesota topped the list with the highest average credit score for the ninth-straight year in 2020, seeing a rise of 6 points, while Washington, D.C., saw the greatest increase, rising 10 points.
Average scores remain substantially lower in some states than others. Of the 10 states with the lowest average credit scores, the majority are in the South. Still, states with lower scores tended to make bigger gains in 2020, according to the report, with each of the bottom 10 states increasing by at least 6 points. Nevada saw the greatest increase among the bottom states, rising 9 points.
Here are the 10 states with the highest average credit score:
1. Minnesota (739) 2. Wisconsin (732)
3. South Dakota (731)
4. Vermont (731)
5. North Dakota (730)
6. Washington (730)
7. Massachusetts (729)
8. New Hampshire (729)
9. Nebraska (728)
10. Hawaii (727)
Here are the 10 states with the lowest average credit score:
42. Nevada (695) 43. New Mexico (694)
44. Oklahoma (690)
45. Arkansas (690)
46. South Carolina (689)
47. Georgia (689)
48. Texas (688)
49. Alabama (686)
50. Louisiana (684)
51. Mississippi (675)
All generations also increased their credit scores in 2020, with the biggest gains being made among millennials, who averaged a credit score increase of 11 points. The silent generation, those 75 and older, saw the smallest increase in average credit score, rising only 1 point, but the group still maintains the best average credit score of any generation. Overall, average credit scores by generation are highest by age, with Generation Z having the lowest average score.
Kaia Hubbard is a graduate of the University of San Diego and is a yearlong News intern.