| | By Greg Fisher
In 2013, FICO score company Fair Isaac stated that "the median FICO Score has remained 711 since 2011."
It used the term "FICO 8" to describe a credit score model, but what consumer reporting agency (Equifax, Experian, Transunion) data were used is not identified. Fannie Mae, a secondary market mortgage company whose conservator is the federal government, dictates the use of particular credit score versions. One such version is Beacon 5.0, a FICO score based on Equifax data. That, and the other two Fannie Mae-approved scores precede respective FICO 8 models.
Other than the median of a set of numbers, there are other measures of central tendency (averages).
Below are claims by CRAs of national average credit scores in the United States.
|696||"As of the end of 2012, the average national credit score was 696, but the average score in some states was either far below or well above that number." (links to a page about the "Equifax Credit Score") - Dedrick, J. (2013, February 7). Best and Worst Credit Scores by State. Retrieved from equifax.com
|697||"The median Equifax credit score in 2012 hovers around 697, largely in line with the median credit score in late 2007. Over the past five years, the median score has shifted up by only six points in a range from 280 to 850." (links to a page about the "Equifax Credit Score") - Dedrick, J. (2012, October 4). Credit Scores Steady in the Midst of Economic Crisis. Retrieved from equifax.com
|?||Part of the HTML source code for the Equifax web page titled "Credit Score Guide | Good Credit Score Range & Average | Equifax":
<meta name="description" content="Credit score education from Equifax. What is a good credit score range, average credit score and how to help improve yours. Find answers using our comprehensive guide to credit scores."/>
FOUL. The word average is not even in this "comprehensive guide," yet it is in the source code title and description. Meta descriptions like the one above are not seen on web pages themselves, but they are seen on search engine results pages. A huge picture of the number 678 is prominently displayed on the page itself. That figure (alongside 723) has a dubious history. Its significance (not to mention the monumental coincidence) is unexplained.
Experian controls various internet domains.
|666||"This year's findings show that the nation's average VantageScore has improved by two points since last year, coming in at 666." (scale: 300-850) - Snyder, K. (2014, November 18). State of Credit 2014. Retrieved from experian.com
|749||"Avg. Credit Score 2011... % Change from 2010: 0.1%" (Vantagescore, scale: 501-990) - Experian. (2011). What is your State of Credit? Retrieved from experian.com|
|681||"The study shows that nationally, the average debt in the United States is $27,887, the average number of bankcards is 2.19, the average balance on those bankcards is $4,501, the average revolving utilization ratio is 30 percent, average incidence of late payments is 0.43 and the average VantageScore is 681 based on a range from 300-850." - Experian, contact: Snyder, K. (2013, November 20). Experian's State of Credit Report Finds Millennials Struggling the Most with Debt Management. Retrieved from experianplc.com
|750||"The national average VantageScore improved for the second consecutive year; it is up to 750 from last year's average of 749 [scale: 501-990]." - Experian, contact: Snyder, K. (2012, September 17). Experian’s State of Credit Report Reveals Consumers in Cities Hardest Hit by Recession Show Encouraging Signs of Financial Recovery. Retrieved from experianplc.com|
|680||"But, it's actually in the neighborhood of 680, which isn't exactly poor." - score version undefined (also states, "Most scores range from 300 to 900.") - Average Credit Scores
|690||"At this time, the national average credit score is around 680-690." - Average Credit Score by State
|680||"Because of the increasing number of auto loans, mortgages and credit card balances, the U.S. would seem to have a low national average credit score. But, it's actually in the neighborhood of 680, which isn't exactly poor." (also states, "Your credit score can range from 300 to 900.") - (HTML title) Credit Scores | Credit Score 101 | CreditReport.com|
|693||"According to Experian, America's largest credit bureau, the national average credit score sits at 693." - Six Ways to Boost Your Credit
|680||"The real average is around 680." - 600 Credit Score
|680||"To get the simple answer out of the way, the current average credit score is around 680. This can change of course, based on people’s borrowing practices moving forward, but if your score is around 680, it’s about average... Again, you shouldn’t be focused on averages. That being said, if you get an above average credit score, that generally means boosting your score into the 700s or above, and that can be great news for you financially." - (HTML title) What Is the Average Credit Score? Understand Credit Score Factors|
|692||"692 is the Average Credit Score." - (website home page)
|"Quality Rating - Below Average" - (HTML title) Credit Risk Levels | Credit Score Numbers & Review | freecreditscore.com|
"While tracking and reporting the average credit risk score may seem like a convenient and easy approach to understanding the general direction of consumer credit markets, the simple average credit score can be misleading when it's applied to a defined geography." - (statement by Chet Wiermanski, global chief scientist, TransUnion) Press release. (2010, September 8). TransUnion's Credit Risk Index (CRI) Continues to Decrease, Signaling Improved Consumer Credit Risk Conditions. Retrieved from transunion.com