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Average Credit Score

Average credit scores have been going down over the past few years, as more and more consumers find themselves in financial hot water.

In January, the average FICO score was 676, but it has dropped 10 points over the year, reaching a low of 666 in September 2010.

Since banks now consider anything under 720 as “mediocre” credit, that means that millions of Americans do not qualify for preferential rates on mortgages, car loans, or credit cards.

According to an October report, consumers in all 50 states have average credit scores below the “magic” 720. South Dakota ranked highest at 710; and Texas rounded out the bottom with 651.

The average is not to be confused with the “median” in looking at this issue. Remember than an average is compiled by adding all the credit scores together and then dividing by the number of scores.

The median is the number in the middle – meaning half the scores are above this number and half are below. As of October 2010, the median credit score in the U.S. is 723.

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