(TNS)—The average credit score in the United States hit an all-time high in 2018, according to a new report from the credit scoring company FICO.
The average FICO credit score reached 704 in April—up four points from the year prior, according to the semiannual report released in late September. The steady improvement in credit quality signals American consumer credit and financial health is strong as the Federal Reserve’s rate hikes make borrowing more expensive.
Ninety percent of top lenders factor in FICO scores when making lending decisions, according to FICO. The three-digit number influences the ability to land an apartment, buy a car and even finance a smartphone.
“Since bottoming out at a score of 686 in October 2009, we have seen eight consecutive years of increases in the national average FICO score,” Ethan Dornhelm, vice president of FICO Scores and Predictive Analytics, says in the report.
A FICO score of 800 or higher is generally considered exceptional. The 670 and up range is good to exceptional, and 669 or below is considered fa