The Relationship between Credit Scores and Age

Learn About Credit ScoreHave you heard the phrase, "some things get better with age?" It references the sentiment that life experiences, patience, and wisdom help improve your life's adventures. This saying can also be applied to credit scores.

Although it is certainly possible for a younger person to attain a higher credit score, older people do have an advantage.

How Does Age Influence Your Credit Score?

To calculate your FICO score, there a few factors that are considered, including:

  • Past payment history
  • Outstanding debt
  • Length of credit history (credit age)
  • Recent credit applications
  • Your installment and revolving credit balances

With these factors building your score, it is an advantage to have a longer credit age and payment history, since these two factors combined comprise 50 percent of a credit score.

Older borrowers have an advantage in maintaining a higher credit score not only because of the ability to have a more extensive payment history and older credit age, but also because they have had more time to clear negative debt or marks from their credit report if they had a less than spotless payment history.

Credit Scores by Age Group

According to BCSAlliance, various credit scores typically follow certain age groups:

  • The 18 - 29 age group has an average credit score of 637.
  • The 30 - 39 age group has an average score of 654.
  • The 40 - 49 age group has an average score of 675.
  • The 50 - 59 age group has an average score of 697.
  • The 60 - 69 age group has an average score of 722.
  • The 70 plus age group has an average score of 747.

As noted above, the older the age group, the better the average credit score.

There's More to Your Credit Score than Age

Although the above figures definitely support the fact that your credit score can be affected by your age, it is important to remember that there are many contributing factors to obtaining a higher credit score.

No matter your age, in order to obtain and maintain a higher credit score, you need to monitor your use of credit. In addition to the age of your credit history, there are four other factors that can affect your credit score, including:

  • Past delinquencies:
    A history of missing payments or defaulting on loans is a strong indicator that you will fail to pay in the future.
  • Use of Available Credit:
    If you are close to the limit (or maxed out) on a credit card, lenders view this as a higher risk than if you only used a small portion of the available credit.
  • Credit inquiries:
    It is viewed as a negative factor if your credit history shows numerous requests for credit in a short amount of time.
  • Mix of credit:
    Secured credit cards are a great way to build your credit history; however, if you only have secured credit cards or secured loans, you may be seen in a less favorable light than if you have a mix of installment and revolving loans.

No matter your age, your credit score depends on how responsible you are. When building your credit history, don't focus on the factors you cannot change – like your age – instead make your payments on time and use your credit wisely. To learn more about factors that influence your credit score, take a look at other resources in our credit library.


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