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Average Credit Score in the U.S. Falls for the First Time Since 2013, According to FICO

The Average Credit Score in the US Declines for the First Time Since 2013

The average credit score in the US has fallen for the first time since 2013, according to FICO, the data analytics firm used in 90% of lending decisions.

In October 2023, the average FICO score decreased to 717, a one-point decline from its previous record high of 718 in April of that same year.

Factors Contributing to the Decline

The decline in the average credit score can be attributed to a few key factors such as high interest rates, persistent inflation, missed payments, and increased debt levels.

On-time payments play a crucial role in an individual’s FICO score, representing 35% of the overall calculation. As of October 2023, more than 18% of Americans were at least 30 days behind on one or more credit cards, signaling a 4% increase from April 2023.

Additionally, credit card debt reached $1.13 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2023, showing a $50 billion increase from the previous quarter, as reported by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Positive Factors and Ways to Improve Credit Scores

Despite the decline, a credit score of 717 is still considered “good” (ranging from 670 to 739) and enables individuals to access the best interest rates and credit cards with competitive rewards.

FICO stated that a strong job market, slowing inflation, and the removal of medical debt from credit reports helped prevent further decline in credit scores.

To improve credit scores, individuals can focus on their payment history, which has the biggest impact. Paying bills on time and in full is the best way to raise the score. Additionally, requesting a credit limit increase can lower the credit utilization ratio.

Using services like Experian Boost™ can help boost credit scores even further by linking on-time utility, phone, and subscription payments to the Experian credit report. Experian Boost™ users have seen an average increase of 13 points in their FICO scores.

It’s also important to regularly review credit reports for errors and monitor for any suspicious activity. Services like Experian IdentityWorks℠ Premium provide comprehensive credit monitoring, including updates on credit scores and identity theft protection.

Credit Cards for Those with Lower Credit Scores

For individuals with credit scores lower than the average, there are credit card options available. One of the easiest cards to get approved for is the Discover it® Secured Credit Card. Unlike most secured cards, it also offers rewards, including 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Discover matches all the cash back earned in the first year.

Features of the Discover it® Secured Credit Card

  • Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, automatically.
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • After seven months, you may be eligible to transition to an unsecured line of credit and receive a full refund of the $200 security deposit.

Individuals with average, fair, or limited credit can also consider the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card, offering unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase.


While the average credit score in the US has declined, a score of 717 is still regarded as a good credit score. By focusing on on-time payments, monitoring credit reports, and utilizing services like Experian Boost™ and Experian IdentityWorks℠ Premium, individuals can improve and maintain their credit scores. Additionally, for those with lower credit scores, credit card options such as the Discover it® Secured Credit Card and Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card are available.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any third party.

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