Experian’s 12th State of Credit Report Shows Rise in Credit Scores Despite Pandemic Challenges
Experian recently released its 12th annual State of Credit report, finding that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the average credit score rose to 695, the highest it has been in 13 years. The report features data from 2019 pre-pandemic, the 2020 pandemic year, and the beginning of 2021.
“The findings from this year’s report show something I’ve always believed: Americans are resilient, for the most part they make smart decisions in the face of adversity and they are agile in adjusting their financial habits when the environment or circumstances change,” said Alex Lintner, President of Experian’s Consumer Information Services.
The report found that consumers across all generations but Gen Z saw lower credit card balances and utilization rates year over year. However, the youngest consumers saw the most notable improvements with missing fewer payments.
Mortgage debt increased across every generation, likely due to low interest rates on mortgages, refinances, and moves. More than 15.9 million people filed change-of-address requests with the United States Postal Service, a 4 percent increase in total movers compared to 2019.
The states with the highest and lowest credit scores stayed the same from last year, with the highest average score of 726 in Minnesota, and the lowest average score of 666 held by Mississippi. At $7,089, Alaska had the highest credit card debt, as the national average is $5,525. Texas had the highest retail debt at $2,248, as the national average is $1,888.
The positive consumer behavior trends seem to indicate that consumers put a fair amount of effort toward their financial health. Lintner said that Experian is “committed to working with lenders and the industry to help consumers gain access to credit, driving broader financial inclusion, while also teaching consumers how to responsibly build and use credit responsibly.”