Research Report: The State of America’s Credit Health

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In this exclusive research from Credit Sesame, we share an in-depth report about the state of America’s credit and the health of American consumers.

We give our analysis and trends on which ZIP codes have the best credit scores, how homeowners and renters compare, and how “maxed out” consumers are when it comes to credit cards.

The 2016 analysis was extracted from a subset of Credit Sesame’s 7 million members. Specifically, we examined 2.5 million members.

Average credit score by state

average credit score by state


The average credit score in the United States is 625. That’s a score most lenders would consider subprime.

Credit Sesame uses VantageScore 3.0, which is a different scoring model than FICO®. An average VantageScore of 625 can be roughly translated to an average FICO® score of 650.

Credit Scores vs. Household Income

credit scores versus household income chart

The credit bureaus will tell you that income plays no role in the calculation of your credit score. But a single glance at the average credit score and median household income in each state shows that there is a strong correlations between the two.

Posh neighborhoods top our credit score charts

us neighborhoods with top credit scores

On the ZIP code level, the highest average credit scores are in Seattle, Silicon Valley and New York City — all areas that have benefitted strongly from the recent tech boom. Is it a coincidence that you can find the highest average credit scores in the same places where you find the highest-paying jobs?

Is poverty becoming synonymous with a subprime credit score?

map correlating poverty rates with poor credit scores

Some of the lowest credit scores are in ZIP codes where household income is less than half the national average and more than a third of the population lives below the poverty line.

The city with the largest credit discrepancy: Chicago

neighborhood level breakdown of chicago credit scores

The largest intra-city divide can be found in Chicago, where two ZIP codes have credit scores in the top 10, and two ZIP codes have scores in the bottom 10.

Homeowners vs. Renters: Who handles their credit better?

chart comparing average credit score of renters versus homeowners

It comes as no surprise that, on average, homeowners have higher credit scores than renters.

Are Americans maxed out?

pie chart breaking down percentages of credit utilization

Credit utilization: the amount of available revolving credit used by a consumer, mostly through credit cards and a home equity line of credit.

*A breakdown of average credit scores are available by state and by city.

Graphics for United States of Credit were created by Jess Bachman. The data was analyzed by Aleksandra Todorova.

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Begin your financial journey with Credit Sesame today.
Get your FREE credit score in seconds.

By clicking on the button above, you agree to the Credit Sesame Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

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