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Baby Boomers Remain One of Two Generations With Above-Average Credit Scores

As their debt begins to wind down, baby boomers continue to maintain strong credit scores. This generation, ages 56 to 74 in 2020, has some of the best scores in the nation, despite their high debt burden. Just after the silent generation, baby boomers' average FICO® Score* of 731 is the second-highest in the nation, according to Experian data.

As part of our ongoing look at credit scores in the U.S., Experian analyzed consumer data from the second quarter (Q2) of 2019 to see how baby boomer credit and debt have changed over time and how they compared with other generations. Read on for our insights and analysis.

Baby Boomers, Silent Generation Have Above-Average Credit Scores

Keeping hold of their second-place spot, baby boomers had an average FICO® Score of 731 in Q2 2019, according to Experian data. That's a 2%—or 13 point—improvement since Q2 2015.

Along with members of the silent generation, who have an average score of 756, baby boomers are one of two generations whose credit scores are above the national average of 703. Having a credit score above 700 is generally considered good, and as a consumer's credit tier improves, so, too, do the credit opportunities available to them.

Baby Boomer Debt Is Winding Down—Except for Student Loans

In addition to having the second-best credit scores, baby boomers also carry the second-largest debt burden—but their debt growth has slowed significantly in most debt categories. Across every debt product except student loans, baby boomer average balances have seen only minor increases.

Since Q2 2015, the average total debt amount among baby boomers has decreased 7%, from $104,824 to $96,984. When it comes to credit card, personal loan and mortgage debt, the generation's balances grew only 1% in each category during the five-year period. However, baby boomer student loan debt jumped 29% and their auto debt grew 4% during the same period, marking the only two areas the generation saw a significant increase in debt over the years.

Baby Boomers in Minnesota Have Highest Credit Scores

Baby boomers in Minnesota had the highest credit scores among states in Q2 2019, according to Experian data. Boomers in the state had an average FICO® Score of 762—that's 59 points higher than the national average of 703 among boomers and 29 points higher than Minnesota's average score of 733 across all generations.

North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Nebraska followed Minnesota to make up the top five states with the highest baby boomer credit scores.

States With Highest Baby Boomer Credit Scores
State2015
Average FICO® Score
2019
Average FICO® Score
5-Year Change
Minnesota7507621.6%
North Dakota7517591.1%
South Dakota7467571.5%
Wisconsin7407552.0%
Nebraska7437541.5%

*Source: Experian data from Q2 of each year. Credit score data is specific to baby boomers.

Baby Boomers in Nevada Saw Credit Scores Jump

Baby boomer credit scores have increased in every state since Q2 2015, growing the most in Nevada, according to Experian data. From Q2 2015 to Q2 2019, average FICO® Scores among baby boomers in Nevada rose 3.5%, an increase of 24 points.

The 24-point bounce brought baby boomers' average credit scores in Nevada above the national average of 703. Scores among baby boomers in the state still are below the generation's nationwide average of 731, but progress is being made.

Florida, Arizona, Michigan and Georgia joined Nevada as the top five states that saw the greatest improvement in average boomer credit scores since Q2 2015.

States With Most Improved Baby Boomer Credit Scores
State2015
Average FICO® Score
2019
Average FICO® Score
5-Year Change
Nevada693717+3.5%
Florida702721+2.7%
Arizona708726+2.5%
Michigan718736+2.5%
Georgia696712+2.3%

*Source: Experian data from Q2 of each year. Credit score data is specific to baby boomer consumers.

Mississippi Baby Boomers Had Lowest Average Credit Scores

Mississippi, the state with the lowest average credit scores overall, was also home to the baby boomers with the lowest average credit scores in the nation. The state's baby boomers had an average FICO® Score of 699 in Q2 2019, according to Experian data.

And while that's below the national average, and the lowest score held by baby boomers in any state, the generation's scores in Mississippi have risen 2% since Q2 2015.

The District of Columbia, Louisiana, Texas and Alabama joined Mississippi as the states with the lowest baby boomer credit scores in the nation.

States With Lowest Baby Boomer Credit Scores
State2015
Average FICO® Score
2019
Average FICO® Score
5-Year Change
Mississippi6856992%
District of Columbia6957061.6%
Louisiana6957071.7%
Texas6987101.7%
Alabama6997111.7%

*Source: Experian data from Q2 of each year. Credit score data is specific to baby boomer consumers.

Methodology: The analysis results provided are based on an Experian-created statistically relevant aggregate sampling of our consumer credit database that may include use of the FICO® Score 8 version. Different sampling parameters may generate different findings compared with other similar analysis. Analyzed credit data did not contain personal identification information. Metro areas group counties and cities into specific geographic areas for population censuses and compilations of related statistical data.

FICO® is a registered trademark of Fair Isaac Corporation in the U.S. and other countries.

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