The average credit score in the U.S. was 714 for FICO in 2022 and 702 for Vantage in 2023. It’s important to keep your score above average in order to qualify for low interest rates on loans and credit card balances — which could save you a large amount of money down the road.

But average credit scores vary by state. Check out our article below to find out how your state compares to the national average, the average credit scores by age and what you can do to build your credit.

FICO Credit Scores by State

Between FICO and Vantage credit scores, FICO is more common. FICO scores factor into the majority of consumer lending decisions and can determine whether or not you qualify for a mortgage or personal loan.

FICO scores credit using the following factors:

  • Amounts owed: 30%
  • Payment history: 35%
  • Credit history length: 15%
  • New credit: 10%
  • Credit mix: 10%

From there, your score will fall into one of the following categories:

  • Poor: 300 – 579
  • Fair: 580 – 669
  • Good: 670 – 739
  • Very Good: 740 – 800
  • Exceptional: 800 – 850

Here’s a breakdown of each state’s average FICO scores from 2021-2022.

State 2021 2022 Score Change
Alabama 691 691 0
Alaska 717 723 +6
Arizona 710 712 +2
Arkansas 694 694 0
California 721 721 0
Colorado 728 730 +2
Connecticut 728 725 -3
Delaware 714 714 0
Florida 706 707 +1
Georgia 693 694 +1
Hawaii 732 732 0
Idaho 725 727 +2
Illinois 719 719 0
Indiana 712 712 0
Iowa 729 729 0
Kansas 721 721 0
Kentucky 702 702 0
Louisiana 689 689 0
Maine 727 728 +1
Maryland 716 716 0
Massachusetts 732 732 0
Michigan 719 718 -1
Minnesota 742 742 0
Mississippi 681 680 -1
Missouri 711 712 +1
Montana 730 731 +1
Nebraska 731 731 0
Nevada 701 702 +1
New Hampshire 734 734 0
New Jersey 725 724 -1
New Mexico 699 699 0
New York 722 721 -1
North Carolina 707 707 0
North Dakota 733 733 0
Ohio 715 715 0
Oklahoma 692 693 +1
Oregon 731 732 +1
Pennsylvania 723 723 0
Rhode Island 723 723 0
South Carolina 693 696 +3
South Dakota 733 734 +1
Tennessee 701 702 +1
Texas 692 693 +1
Utah 727 730 +3
Vermont 736 736 0
Virginia 721 721 0
Washington 734 735 +1
West Virginia 699 700 +1
Wisconsin 735 735 0
Wyoming 722 723 +1

Source: Experian

Vantage Credit Scores by State

While not as common as FICO scores, Vantage scores are commonly used by financial institutions as well. A 2019 study found that more than 2,000 financial institutions pulled over 7 billion Vantage credit scores that year — meaning 60% of all Vantage scores were used by financial institutions.

Vantage 3.0 scores credit using the following factors:

  • Credit type and age: 21%
  • Payment history: 40%
  • Percent of used credit: 20%
  • Recent credit activity: 5%
  • Credit available: 3%

According to Experian, your score will fall into one of the following categories:

  • Very Poor: 300 – 499
  • Poor: 500 – 600
  • Fair: 601 – 660
  • Good: 661 – 780
  • Excellent: 781 – 850

Here’s a breakdown of each state’s average VantageScore as of January 2023:

State 2021 2022 Score Change
Alabama 670 677 +7
Alaska 699 699 0
Arizona 694 701 +7
Arkansas 671 678 +7
California 703 707 +4
Colorado 711 717 +6
Connecticut 708 711 +3
Delaware 696 703 +7
Florida 691 698 +7
Georgia 675 681 +6
Hawaii 716 716 0
Idaho 707 715 +8
Illinois 699 704 +5
Indiana 688 696 +12
Iowa 707 712 +5
Kansas 695 704 +9
Kentucky 676 684 +8
Louisiana 667 673 +6
Maine 706 715 +9
Maryland 699 703 +4
Massachusetts 718 719 +1
Michigan 698 702 +4
Minnesota 724 726 +2
Mississippi 662 667 +5
Missouri 690 697 +7
Montana 690 715 +25
Nebraska 709 713 +4
Nevada 680 690 +10
New Hampshire 719 723 +4
New Jersey 707 712 +5
New Mexico 681 688 +7
New York 704 704 +1
North Carolina 686 696 +10
North Dakota 712 715 +3
Ohio 691 699 +8
Oklahoma 712 715 +3
Oregon 712 715 +3
Pennsylvania 704 708 +4
Rhode Island 707 710 +3
South Carolina 676 685 +11
South Dakota 713 717 +4
Tennessee 681 690 +9
Texas 673 680 +7
Utah 707 715 +8
Vermont 719 722 +3
Virginia 701 709 +8
Washington 716 721 +5
West Virginia 675 685 +10
Wisconsin 710 717 +7
Wyoming 698 708 +10

Source: VantageScore

5 Most Financially Healthy States

Financial Health by State map and comparison chart

The more financially healthy a state is, the more success it’s likely to have in funding government-sponsored programs and maintaining a high quality of life for its residents.

To measure financial health, we compared the average credit scores, unemployment rates and tax climate scores as ranked by the Tax Foundation for all 50 states.

The states we ranked as most financially healthy are as follows:

1. South Dakota

South Dakota financial health infographic
  • Average FICO Score: 734
  • Average Vantage Score: 719
  • Unemployment Rate: 2.1%
  • Tax Climate Score: 7.48

South Dakota was deemed our healthiest state with a surplus budget of $2.2 billion by the end of 2021. It had the second healthiest tax climate score of any state and tied for the lowest unemployment rate at 2.1% in 2022. Additionally, South Dakota’s pension plans and retirement health care benefits were overfunded by $256.5 million.

2. New Hampshire

  • Average FICO Score: 734
  • Average Vantage Score: 719
  • Unemployment Rate: 2.8%
  • Tax Climate Score: 5.93

New Hampshire’s average Vantage score of 719 was the second highest of any state and its unemployment rate was the 10th lowest. The state’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew 2.5% annually over the past five years — meaning it had the fifth fastest-growing economy for that time period.

3. Montana

  • Average FICO Score: 731
  • Average Vantage Score: 690
  • Unemployment Rate: 2.5%
  • Tax Climate Score: 6.07

Montana had the fifth highest tax climate and the fourth lowest unemployment rate of any state. It had a spending surplus of $21.4 million at the end of the fiscal year of 2021. While that surplus isn’t as high as some other states on this list, it still translates to good financial well-being compared to states like California, which had over $21 billion in debt in 2021.

4. Utah

Utah financial health infographic
  • Average FICO Score: 730
  • Average Vantage Score: 707
  • Unemployment Rate: 2.4%
  • Tax Climate Score: 5.64

While Utah didn’t rank in the top 10 of states with the highest credit scores, it’s financial health was improved by its healthy tax climate score and its low unemployment rate at 2.4% — the third lowest unemployment rate of any state. For the fiscal year of 2021, this state had $8.8 billion in surplus funds.

5. North Dakota

  • Average FICO Score: 733
  • Average Vantage Score: 712
  • Unemployment Rate: 2.1%
  • Tax Climate Score: 17

North Dakota tied with South Dakota for the lowest unemployment rate of 2.1%. Additionally, it had a surplus of $13.7 billion for the fiscal year of 2021. That comes out to a surplus of $49.6 thousand for every taxpayer in the state.

5 Least Financially Healthy States

Certain ranked states stood out as having lower average credit scores, employment rates and tax climate scores. Here’s the list of our five least financially stable states starting from our least healthy state:

1. Mississippi

Mississippi financial health infographic
  • Average FICO Score: 680
  • Average Vantage Score: 667
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.9%
  • Tax Climate Score: 5

Mississippi had the lowest FICO and Vantage scores of any state. It also had the thirtieth-lowest tax climate score and $4.7 billion in state debt at the end of 2021.

2. Louisiana

  • Average FICO Score: 689
  • Average Vantage Score: 673
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.5%
  • Tax Climate Score: 4.5

Louisiana had the second lowest FICO and Vantage credit scores. At the end of 2021, it held $17.5 billion in debt — meaning they’d need to charge $14,100 per taxpayer to pay it off.

3. Arkansas

  • Average FICO Score: 694
  • Average Vantage Score: 678
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.4%
  • Tax Climate Score: 4.5

Arkansas’s tax health, average FICO score and average Vantage scores each ranked within the bottom 10 of any state. While its unemployment rate is about average nationally, Arkansas ranks as the third least financially healthy state due to its low credit scores and tax health.

4. New York

  • Average FICO Score: 721
  • Average Vantage Score: 705
  • Unemployment Rate: 4.2%
  • Tax Climate Score: 3.5

New York had the second most unhealthy tax climate of any state. While New York’s total debt decreased significantly from 2020, it still owed about $127 billion in 2021 — resulting in a taxpayer burden of about $18,500.

5. California

California financial health infographic
  • Average FICO Score: 721
  • Average Vantage Score: 707
  • Unemployment Rate: 4.2%
  • Tax Climate Score: 3.58

While California’s average credit scores ranked down the middle compared to other states, it had the third most unhealthy tax climate and ranked in the top 10 for highest unemployment rates of any state. Additionally, for the fiscal year of 2021, the state owed about $143 billion in debt.

Average Credit Score by Age

Age Average 2022 FICO Score
18 – 25 (Gen Z) 679
26 – 41 (Millennials) 687
42 – 57 (Gen X) 706
58 – 76 (Baby Boomers) 742
77+ (Silent Generation) 760

Source: Experian

On average, older generations tend to have higher scores than younger generations. However, across every age, average credit scores hovered around good and very good by FICO standards. This trend suggests that people are generally good at building credit given a long enough time frame.

4 Tips to Build Your Credit

4 tips to build credit infographic

If your credit isn’t where you’d like it to be, there are strategies you can use to improve your score. Here are some helpful credit-building tips:

Use a Secured Credit Card

Secured credit cards are a great tool if you’re building credit from scratch. When a credit card is secured, it’s backed by a security deposit that typically matches your credit limit. Secured credit cards are mainly a stepping stone to building your credit until you can qualify for a regular credit card. Once you close your secured account, you’ll receive your security deposit back in full.

Become an Authorized User

If you’re just starting to build credit, it could be a good idea to ask a financially responsible family member to add you as an authorized user to their credit card account.

Once authorized, you can make purchases with their credit card and establish your own credit history. That said, payment responsibility remains with the primary cardholder.

Moderate Your Credit Card Usage

You don’t want to overuse your credit card. A good rule of thumb is to use less than 30% of your credit at a time before paying it off — indicating you’re a responsible user.

Make Payments on Time

One of the easiest ways to increase your credit score is to make payments on time consistently. Unpaid accounts might be sent to collections, which could damage your credit score. To keep track of your payments, you may want to set reminders on your phone to alert you when bills are due.

Building your credit score helps you qualify for credit cards and loans. The higher your score, the lower interest rates you’re likely to qualify for on mortgages or personal loans. For more information about average state credit scores, check out the infographic below:

Download Infographic

Check out our personal finance page to learn more about wealth management, investing and overall financial wellness.

Methodology

To rank states by overall financial well-being, we compared the average FICO and Vantage credit scores, tax climate scores from the Tax Foundation and unemployment rates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for each state.

We weighted each data point as follows:

  • Average FICO Score: 20%
  • Average Vantage Score: 20%
  • Tax Climate Score: 30%
  • Unemployment Rate: 30%
Please seek the advice of a qualified professional before making financial decisions.
Last Modified: December 7, 2023