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The Personal Finance Podcast

What is the Average Credit Score? (Plus how to Bring Yours Up!)

In this episode of the Personal Finance Podcast, we’re gonna talk about the average credit score in the US and how you can bring your credit score up.

In this episode of the Personal Finance Podcast, we're gonna talk about the average credit score in the US and how you can bring your credit score up.

 

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Transcript:

On this episode of the Personal Finance Podcast, we're gonna talk about the average credit score in the US and how you can bring yours up.

Woo, what's up to everybody and welcome to the Personal Finance Podcast. I'm your host Andrew, founder of Master money.co. And today on the Personal Finance Podcast, we're gonna be talking about the average credit score in the US and how you can build. That credit score up. If you guys have any questions, make sure you hit us up on Instagram or TikTok at Master Money Co.

And follow us on Spotify, apple Podcast or whatever podcast player you love listening to this podcast on. If you wanna help out the show, leave a five star rating and review on the podcast player you're listening to us on right now. I cannot thank you guys enough for leaving those five star ratings and reviews.

Every single one of them, and they truly mean a lot on those positive rating and reviews. So today we are gonna be talking about the average credit score in the US and we're gonna talk about why credit scores are really, really important and why you should bring those credit scores up. And a lot of these you may not have thought about before in the past, but they have become increasingly more important for a number of people.

And we're gonna actually talk about why your credit score needs to be higher because it's going to have a million dollar impact on your money if you do not bring that credit score. Struggled with your credit score in the past. We're gonna talk about why that's a million dollar impact on your money today.

In this episode, we have a ton to unpack today, so I'm really incredibly excited to kind of go through this with you guys. So first thing we're gonna go through before we dive into the average credit score. In the US is we are gonna talk about why your credit score matters so much because your credit score is a really, really powerful metric.

Now, in other countries, they do not use credit scores, but here in the US they use credit scores to factor how responsible you are with your finances. And a lot of people are now looking at credit scores, whether it's you're applying for a job, whether you're looking to buy a house, there's a bunch of different reasons why you need to bring up.

Credit score, but this can have a multimillion dollar impact on your money. If you haven't heard the episode or we talked about the million dollar decisions you should be focusing on, we will link that episode up down below in the show notes. But we talk about this for a very big reason, and one of the reasons is that your mortgage interest, say for example, you go out and you buy a house.

The difference between interest rates when you go and buy a house is massive to your wealth building ability over time. So when you look at this, your credit score is actually partially. Tates what interest rate you get. And if you have a low credit score and your interest rate is much higher on your mortgage, then guess what's going to happen?

You're gonna be paying a lot more money out of pocket. How much more, let's take a look at this, for example. Let's say, for example, you rough numbers. We bought a $500,000 house and we wanted to have a mortgage on that house. If you had a two and a half percent interest rate, you'd pay 1975 a month. If you had a 3% interest rate, you'd pay 2108 a month.

If you had a 4% interest rate, you'd pay 2387 per month. If you had a 5% interest rate, you'd pay 26 84 per month, and if you had a 6% interest rate, you'd pay 2,900. $7 per month. Say for example, you had a really low credit score, but you still wanted to buy that house, you absolutely love this house that had everything you've ever wanted.

You can see raising your family there. You wanted this house so incredibly badly, and you had a low credit score that you ended up taking a 6% interest rate or something even higher. In a lot of situations, especially right now when interest rates are high, people are taking even higher interest rates on their mortgage.

Well, here's what would happen. If you had a 6% interest rate because of your credit score, the difference would be 1020 $2 a month. Now, here's the crazy part about this, because if you invested that 1020 $2 per month, over time, you would've invested $367,000 in additional money over the course of 30 years over the course of that entire mortgage loan.

And guess how much that would? If you got a 10% rate of return, that money would be worth 2.1 million. If you got an 8% rate of return, that money would be worth 1.4 million. This is the impact your credit score has and why this matters on a wide range of things across personal finance. You have to bring this credit score up.

If you have a low credit score, I cannot explain to you how important this is. Now, some people will say, Hey, I don't have a good credit score, but I'm really wealthy. I just pay cash for everything I understand. And some people will also say your credit score is just how good you are with debt. That's something Dave Ramsey would say for an example.

This is not the way to look at this. The way to look at your credit score is most people have to borrow money, whether it's for a mortgage to buy a house, or they have to borrow money to do other things. And if you borrow money, you need to have a high credit score so that you can utilize that credit score to reduce your interest.

It's gonna help you in a lot of other factors as well. So that's just the mortgage interest factor. Let's say also, for example, you want to borrow a car. Well, if someone got a $30,000 auto loan, on average, people pay $5,100 less when they have a high credit score. Everybody listening to this podcast most likely drives a car unless you live in a big city or you're extremely frugal like Mr.

Money mustache or something along those lines. But everybody who listens to this podcast is driving a car. Imagine if you paid every single car that you bought $5,100 less for that car because you had that higher credit score. Same things. Maybe you won a HeLOCK or a home equity line of credit. People who get a HeLOCK on average.

$50,000 less over the course of their entire timeframe that they have that HeLOCK for a 15 year loan. If they have a higher credit score, that's $50,000. This is a massive number that you really have to understand the impact of your credit score. If you add all of these things together, all the financial activities that you do throughout your life, it is going to be a million dollar impact on your money.

Whether you're losing out on opportunity costs for certain things, or whether you are looking at. Something where you need to reduce some of those interest rates. This is a million dollar impact, and at the very least, it's a six figure impact for the majority of people. So understanding that your credit score is extremely important is really, really the first step here.

What are some other benefits of having a high credit score? You can get better rates on car insurance, so most people don't know this, but they check your credit score when they look at your car insurance rates, and you can get better rates on car insurance if. Financially responsible. They need to know that you are financially responsible before they actually give you that car insurance.

So you gotta know this stuff so that when you go into play, you're saving money every single month on car insurance. You can also save on other types of insurance, whether it's umbrella policies, they'll look at this. If it's your life insurance, they'll look at this. Maybe your home insurance, for example, is another fantastic example of this because they wanna make sure that.

Financially responsible before you do this. This also allows you to qualify for lower credit card interest. A lot of people don't know this, but if you say for example, you're in credit card debt, you can actually negotiate the rate on your credit card and you can negotiate that rate. If you have a higher credit score, meaning they're, you're saying, Hey, I've never been in credit card debt before.

This is the first time I've ever done this. Can we negotiate this rate down because this is a new thing for me. I will get rid of this credit card debt and we can actually lower these rates. But you also want that rate lowered when you apply for a card as well, and you can negotiate that as you go through this process.

You can also get approved for higher credit. Limits when you have a higher credit score. Why does this matter? We'll talk about why this matters more here in a second. But if you have a higher credit limit, that means you're utilizing less of your credit, and that means your credit score will go up as well.

So it's actually a compound effect. When you have a higher credit score, you can get a higher credit score just by having that higher credit limit. You also have more housing options when you have a high credit score. Now, most of the time a landlord that's in an A or a B area is always going to be checking your credit score.

Why? They wanna see if you as a tenant are going to be financially responsible. Because when you go through this process of screening tenants, and now it gets very competitive to go and find an apartment or to go out and find a single family home, for example, that you wanna rent. When landlords go out and they screen tenants, they wanna see who is the most financially responsible.

And if you have a low credit score, Five 50, for example. A lot of landlords will reject your application. This is just the time that we live in Now, that credit worthiness is something that you have to have to be able to rent a home. Credit worthiness is something that you have to have to also buy a home, so you need this credit worthiness and you have way more housing options if you have this credit worthiness.

If you have a really low credit score, odds are you're not gonna be living as an as nice of an area as you possibly could if you had a higher credit score. Number six. You can also get utility services more easily if you have a high credit score. How many of you have had to put down a deposit when you had zero credit score, whatever?

I remember the first time I ever got an apartment, I had to put down this huge deposit. It was like 300, $400 because I did not have credit yet. I did not have any credit available to my name, so I had to put this huge deposit down that which they held for like two years, and in that time I didn't have that amount of money to be able to just put down any point in time.

So I had to go really find that money to be able to put it down. If you have a credit score, you don't have to put. Is down. You can turn you utilities on right away and not have to worry about that at all. Number seven is you can get a cell phone without prepaying or making a security deposit. Meaning a lot of times people when they go buy phones, if you go and you buy a phone or you put it on a payment plan, a lot of times you're gonna have to put down this huge security deposit, or you could just put it on your payment plan, roll it over.

Obviously for most people, we like you to buy your phones cash. But at the same time, if you don't have that availability, everybody needs a phones. You gotta have that phone in place when you do this. And then number eight is now a lot of employers are looking at your credit score as well. And employers care about your credit score to see how responsible you are, how responsible are you with handling your money, because that's how you're gonna handle other things in life.

So listen, if you have a low credit score or you are new to building up a credit score, we're gonna talk about how to build that up as well. We're gonna talk about that later on in this show so that you can understand, Hey, This is the steps I need to take so that I can build up my credit score. So we are really incredibly excited for you guys to check this out.

Now let's get into the average credit score in the us. All right, so we are gonna look at the average credit score here in the us and FICO came out with these numbers a few months ago and are showing you what the average credit score is. And this article also came out on cnbc. And if you're watching on YouTube, we will put this graph up on the screen on YouTube so that.

See exactly what we're talking about here as well. And if you wanna watch us on YouTube, we are the personal finance on YouTube and we also have other content on YouTube. Master Money on YouTube is our main channel as well. But this is going to show you where credit scores are in the US and a lot of people understand how important their credit scores are as of recent.

So credit scores are actually rising, which is very interesting. So they actually compare in this graph the difference between credit scores in 2022 and the difference between credit scores in 2012. So this is what. Looking at here, going back and forth. So credit scores between 300 to 4 99. 2.9% of Americans in 2022 have a credit score between three hundred and four ninety nine.

It is going to be very hard to get through life financially if you have a credit score that low, unless you are really wealthy and there are really wealthy people who have very low credit scores, which is why you're hearing me say that caveat, really wealthy people who. For everything in cash, but have a little bit of credit that they utilize.

A lot of times they can actually have a really low credit score cuz they're not using their credit very much. Now, 2.9%, this is down from 2012 and 2012. 5.7% of Americans had a credit score between three hundred and three ninety nine now 500 to 5 49. This is still where you will automatically get rejected for a lot of housing.

This is where you'll automatically get rejected for any mortgage or anything like that. 5.5% of the us, which this is down from 8.5% of the US, had a credit score between five hundred and five forty nine, five fifty to 5 99. Is 6.8% of the US have a credit score between five 50 and 5 99. Still, we need to bring that credit score up.

In a lot of situations. You can't do certain things if your credit score is below 600. I reject tenants in some of our properties if their credit score is below 600 when I was managing some of those properties. So that's another thing to consider. This is down though, from 10% in 2012. Now, a credit score between 606 40.

9.1%, whereas in 2012, it was 10.1%, so almost exactly the same, 1% off there, six 50 to 6 99. In 2022, there was 12.4% of Americans that had a credit score between six 50 and 6 99, and there was 12.2% in 2012. Now, you may be asking yourself, well, where do I need to get you to actually have a good credit?

This is your goal is you need to have a goal to get your credit score above 700 at least, and then working your way up to try to get above seven 50 is the true goal if you want to be financially whole or actually pursue some of these financial goals that we always talk about, but getting it over 700 is a great accomplishment, especially if you are starting from some of these lower numbers.

Working your butt off to get over 700 is going to be really, really helpful for you. So, From 700 to 7 49, a credit score from 700 to 7 49 is 16.5%. A credit score from 700 to 7 49 in 2012 is 16%, so almost exactly the same. And then here's where a lot of the changes are happening in the upper level, credit scores.

Now, there could be a number of reasons for these. I think there's a lot more people that are utilizing credit now, especially with the acceleration of buy now, pay later, which is a whole nother episode that I will get into because I'm not very happy about the acceleration of buy now. Pay later. But this is where credit scores could be increasing, is for a number of different factors like that.

Now, seven 50 to 7 99, 23 0.6% of Americans have a credit score between seven 50 and 7 99. This is up from 2012, which was only 19% of Americans in 2012, between seven 50 and 7 99. You can do pretty much whatever you want when it comes to getting a loan or getting a mortgage or anything along those. Now people with the really high credit scores.

This used to be a badge of honor, but it looks like a lot more Americans are getting these now from 800 to eight 50, which is the camp that I fall in, and this is the camp that a lot of people with credit history who make their payments on time. We'll talk about how to get to this level in a second. 800 to eight 50 is 23.3%.

Whereas in 2012, it was only 18.5% of people had that credit score in 2012. This is something where it's great news that credit scores are increasing and we have to understand how can we get to this point? How can you get to that upper level of seven 50? To eight 50, how can you get in that range where you're in the top two levels of credit scores so that you can basically do whatever you want, borrow money when you need it, as long as you qualify for certain amounts, and be able to use that money for wealth building activities.

Because say for example, you want to go out and buy rental properties. Buying rental properties is one reason why I would be interested in going out and getting a loan or a mortgage on a property because your tenant is paying down that mortgage. So you get to utilize leverage. Maybe you put down $20,000 on a hundred thousand dollars property, for example.

You get to utilize that leverage where your tenant is getting up. They're going to work every single day, then they're coming home and they are paying you, and when they pay you, they're paying off your mortgage. That's a fantastic wealth building activity for you. So to be able to utilize that leverage to an extent, and it has to be safely and all these other things obviously, but at the same time, to be able to utilize that leverage is something that is absolutely fantastic for your wealth building ability.

So how can you get to some of these upper. So that we can get to the point where we can start to build wealth this way. Well, first we gotta learn what impacts our credit score. So when we talk about what impacts our credit score, your payment history is 35% of what impacts your credit score. Now you're gonna hear me talk about two or three things here.

We're gonna 80 20 your credit score if you need to bring this thing up. So your payment history, meaning how often do you pay your bills on. Paying your bills on time is the number one factor when it comes to your credit score. If you are not paying your bills on time, make the change today. You know who you are.

If you're not paying your bills on time, I mean every single bill. How do you do this without forgetting? Put everything on autopilot, so make sure that you are. Automatically paying your bills on time every single month. Okay? This is 35% of your credit score. The second thing is gonna be another 30% of your credit score.

If you focus on these two things, you got 65% of the way there between these first two things. So your payment history is number one. Number two is accounts owed or credit utilization is what you hear me say all the time. Accounts owed. How much of your credit is you actually utilizing? How much of your credit are you using every single month?

Let me give you an example here. Say you have $10,000 available to you on a credit card, and let's say you spend $1,000 every single month on that credit card. You buy your groceries, you buy some gas, and maybe a couple of other things. So you have $1,000 per month that you spend on that credit card.

That means you are using 10%. Of the amount that you can actually use, so you're utilizing 10% of what you can actually use. This is a good thing to keep your credit utilization low. You want this to be low over time, but let's say you have three credit cards and each one has $10,000 available to them.

Well now you're spending much less 3.33%. If you only spend a thousand dollars between the three, then you're utilizing much less of your credit than you would before. The lower this number, the. In fact, studies have shown that people with a credit score of 800 or more FICO has talked about this, that they utilize 7% or less of their total credit.

So this is where you can really bring your credit score up if you can lower that credit utilization. This is a really important thing to understand, is lowering your credit utilization will actually increase your score. So you pay your bills on time and you lower that credit utilization Between those two things, this is really going to significantly.

Increase your credit score. Now look at this for a sec. The third thing is 15% of your credit. This is how your 80 20 year credit between the first three things, this is 80% of your credit score. So you're always looking for the 80 20 when it comes to optimizing things in life. Well, the 80 20 here is these first three things.

The first two matter the most, so you wanna focus on the first two most because they are the majority when it comes to this. The third one is less the majority, and it's also somewhat outta your control, but it's length of credit history. How long have you actually had. In the past, like I talked about, for example, when I got that first apartment, I did not have length of history available to me.

I had no credit history whatsoever, so I was not able to just go out and turn my utilities on without putting down a deposit. But your length of credit history is something that's going to help you over time. And one way parents that you can do this for your children if you are responsible with credit cards, and I say this is the most important part, if you know you're not responsible with credit cards, you can ruin your children.

Credit if you do this and you're not responsible, so you have to be responsible for credit cards, but you can add your children to your credit card as an authorized user. And all this means is that they're going to be on your credit report when you pay off your card every single month. So if you're really good with credit cards, you pay 'em off every single month, you can add your children as a authorized user there and have that available to you as well.

So you wanna make sure that you understand how long these credit accounts have been established as a major factor when it comes to the length of your credit. And then the last two new credit is 10%. So for example, you may have seen when you sign up for a new credit card, your credit score reduces a little bit.

That's because you have new credit that's just opened. So it's 10% of your credit score. That is a short term thing that will happen there, and then it'll go back to normal. And then you have credit mix. How many different types of credits do you have? Do you have a mortgage and credit cards, for example?

Do you have a mortgage? Credit cards and a heloc. There's all different types of credit mixes. Your credit mix is also part of your credit score, but it's only 10%. So the first three amounts owed length of credit history and payment history are the three that truly will 80 20, your credit score. Now, how can you bring this credit score up?

Say you will have a low credit score. How can you get to the point where you are bringing this up so that you can increase the amount that you have available first? Is pay off your credit card balances every single month. And if you have credit card balances where you are in credit card debt, you need to pay these down strategically.

We have a free course that teaches you how to pay down debt the fast way, and you can check it out at master money.co/courses and you'll see the free debt course that we have available to you. We are not gonna charge you for a debt course. I want. That listens to this podcast to be able to get out of debt.

We have a free, it's like eight or nine videos that you can go through. You can finish the whole thing in an hour. Free debt course. Check that out. Make sure you look at that so that you can get yourself out of debt. Number two is you can ask for higher credit limits. Why would we do this? Why would we ask for higher credit limits on our credit cards?

The reason for this is because it lowers your credit utilization for the amount of money that you're spending. We talked about this, your credit utilization. If you spend $1,000 and you have $10,000 available to you, then it's going to lower your credit utilization If you bring that up to 20. Or $20,000.

Why? Because now you're only utilizing 5% of your credit instead of 10% at that $10,000 limit. So if you have higher limits or you can open up additional credit cards, that's another way to do it as well. I like to have a lot of credit cards because we travel hack. If you haven't heard our episode, we talk about travel hacking.

Make sure you check that out cuz I travel the world for free by utilizing my credit cards. You just have to make sure that you are responsible with credit, and this is a perk of having a high credit scores. You can open up whatever travel card you want and you'll get automatically approved if you have a high credit.

Number three, if you wanna bring it up as we just talked about this, you can become unauthorized user, so you can become an authorized user on a credit card and be able to actually bring that credit score up. You can put your children on there as well and help them bring it up. Number four is to pay your bills on time.

Obviously this is 35% of your credit score is to pay your bills on time. You absolutely need to do that in order to ensure to bring up your credit score. If you don't pay your bills on time, you will never have a high credit score, so you have to put this system in place and the best way to do that is to automate it so that you can automatically bring up your credit score that way.

Number five, if there are credit errors on your credit report, you can pull your credit report at a bunch of different places. Fico, you can do it@freecreditreport.com. There's a bunch of different ways that you can. But you wanna dispute credit report errors, so pull your credit report every single year.

You need to do this once a year. Look at your credit report and if there are errors on your credit report, you can dispute them and you can go in there and say, Hey, I need this removed because it's impacting my credit report. Number six is deal with collections accounts. If you have collections accounts out there, you need to deal with those.

You need to work through those because those are really impacting your credit score as well. Number seven is an actual one that most people can do right now is you can open a secured credit card. So the chime credit builder is a fantastic one that you can check out. We'll link it up down below. And the chime credit builder, the way that this works is that it actually acts like a debit.

And what you're doing is you are putting your dollars on the chime credit builder. Let's say for example, you put $200 on there, that means you can spend $200, but it works like a credit card in building your credit. So if you have no credit whatsoever, a secured credit card is a great place to start. I love the Chime credit builder, and that's a great one that you can look at.

We'll link it up down below. So that you could check that out. And then you can also get credit for rent and utility payments. So if you didn't know this, you can actually get credit on your credit report for on time rent and utility payments. And one way to do this is you can look at something like Experian Boost and they can help you kind of do this and go through this process.

And that's a way for you to actually. Get credit every time you pay your rent on time because you wanna make sure that you are doing that. Especially if you are a renter. This is a great way to boost your credit score on the rental side as well. So making sure that you get credit for paying your rent on time is incredibly important cuz people who pay their mortgage on time get credit for this, but renters don't.

But now you can and you can look at Experian Boost, they can help you walk through that as. Now number nine is to add to your credit mix. Now, this is not one that I want you to go out and just go get a loan just to bring up your credit score. Absolutely not. Do not ever do this. But if you're someone who is in the process of, you know, you're gonna buy a house or something along those lines and you can add to your credit mix, the more mix of different credit types that you have, you can raise your credit score a little bit.

But credit mix, like we talked about, is only 10% of your credit scores. So you wanna make sure that when you do this, it's really for a good reason, cuz it's a minimal impact as well. Now what I want you to. If you have a low credit score, you need to bring it up. Maybe you're in the fives, the sixes, or you're even in the fours or threes.

Then you need to focus on the 80 20. What's the 80 20 again? We'll go through it again. It's your payment history, amounts owed, and the length of credit history that you have. The first two are the ones that you can actually control, which is your payment history and amounts owed. So making sure you're paying your bills on time, making sure you're using less of your credit usage is going to be incredibly important when it comes to building up your credit score.

And if you're in credit card debt, make sure you get rid of that debt first before you do a lot of other things, because that is a high interest debt. It kills your wealth billing ability to have credit card debt, so you want to get rid of that. That is a pan on fire emergency. You need to get rid of that when it comes to your finances because it is destroying your wealth building ability.

Listen, I hope you guys learned a ton about the average credit score in the US today and how you. It up your credit score. If you guys have any questions, make sure you hit us up on Instagram or TikTok, and don't forget to leave that five star rating in review. And if you know somebody who's struggling with their credit as well, make sure you share this episode with them because this is one where I think a lot of people can benefit from just learning some of this stuff so they can increase their credit score.

And if you're getting value outta the show, share it with a friend. Share it with a family member. I. Thank you guys enough for sharing the show and leaving those five star ratings and reviews. I appreciate each and every single one of you. You do not know how much. I appreciate all of you and we will see ya on the next episode.

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Never Too Late, And Here’s Why!

Andrew is positive, engaging, and straightforward. As someone who saw little light at the end of the tunnel, due to poor saving/spending habits, I believed I would be entirely too dependent on Social Security. Andrew shows how it’s possible to secure financial freedom, even if you’ve wasted the opportunities presented in your youth. Listened daily on drives too and from work and got through 93 episodes in theee weeks.

Bradley DH
5/5
Just What I Have Been Searching For!

This podcast has been exactly what I have been looking for. Not only does it solidify some of my current practices but helps me to understand the why and the ins-and-outs to what does work and what doesn’t work! Easy to listen to and Andrew does a great job and putting everything in context that is applicable to everyone.

M. Marlene
5/5
Simply Excellent!!!

Excellent content, practical, straight to the point, easy to follow and easy to apply! Andrew takes the confusion, complexity and fear as a result (often the biggest deterrent for most folks) out of investing and overall money matters in general, and provides valuable advice that anyone can follow and put into practice. Exactly what I’ve been looking for for quite some time and so happy that I came across this podcast. Thank you, Andrew!

Katica_KateKate
5/5
Great Information In An Understandable Way

Absolutely a must listen for anyone at any age. A+ work.

GiantsFan518
5/5
Wealth Building Magician

Absolutely love listening to this guy! He has taken all of my thoughts and questions I’ve ever had about budgeting, investing, and wealth building and slapped onto this podcast! Can’t thank him enough for what I’ve learned!

Dmoney7777
5/5
Fun Financial Literacy Experience

I discovered your podcast a few weeks ago and wanted I am learning SO MUCH! Finance is an area of my life that I’ve always overlooked and this year I am determined to make progress! I am so grateful for this podcast and wish there was something like this 18 years ago! Andrew’s work is life changing and he makes the topic fun!

mariasarchi
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