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While some senior citizens may be exiting the workforce, their debt and credit have not yet retired.
Across the U.S., senior citizens have an average FICO® Score* of 745—44 points higher than the national average of 701, according to Experian data from the fourth quarter of 2018. Senior citizens (considered as people 60 years or older for this analysis) also carry an average of $70,633 in total debt, though seniors in some states carried almost double that amount.
Using the national average of $93,446 in total debt as a comparison, it's clear that as consumers grow older, their total average debt shrinks. When looking across the age spectrum, total average balances continued to grow until age 44, at which point amounts stabilize for a few years before reversing and beginning to decrease.
When it comes to credit scores, senior citizens hold some of the country's top scores. Of all consumers over age 60, 80-year-olds have the highest credit scores, with an average FICO® Score of 758.
To find out more about where senior citizens hold the most debt, Experian reviewed consumer credit data from the fourth quarter of 2018 to identify states where senior citizens had the highest balances. Read on to see if your state appeared in the top 20.
|Top 20 States for Senior Citizen Debt|
|Rank||State||Average Total Debt||Average FICO® Score|
|1||District of Columbia||$132,366||723|
Senior Citizens in West Virginia Had the Least Total Debt
When it came to states with the lowest average debt amounts for seniors, West Virginia topped the list with an average debt amount of $38,358, according to Experian data. That's more than one-third the national average and nearly 50% less than the amount held by the average consumer above the age of 60. Mississippi came in second with a total average debt amount of $38,562, followed by Puerto Rico, where seniors carried an average of $39,246 in average total debt.
Senior Citizens in North Dakota and Minnesota Had the Highest Average Credit Scores
Consumers over 60 in North Dakota and Minnesota had the highest average FICO® Score, both with an average of 770. This is 69 points higher than the national average and 25 points higher than the average senior citizen's score. South Dakota had the second-highest average at 766, with Nebraska and Iowa trailing with a 765 and 764, respectively.
If you're over 60 and want to learn more about your debt and credit, consider getting a free copy of your credit reports and scores from Experian to see what appears in your credit file.
Want to instantly increase your credit score? Experian Boost™ helps by giving you credit for the utility and mobile phone bills you're already paying. Until now, those payments did not positively impact your score.
This service is completely free and can boost your credit scores fast by using your own positive payment history. It can also help those with poor or limited credit situations. Other services such as credit repair may cost you up to thousands and only help remove inaccuracies from your credit report.
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. MSA is the acronym for metropolitan statistical area, which groups 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.