Experian found that average credit scores came exceptionally close to pre-recession numbers, increasing two points to 675 from 673 in 2016. The 2017 average is just four points away from the 679 average recorded in 2007.
"The trend line that we are seeing is quite promising. With employment and consumer confidence on the rise, we've made great progress as a country since the recession," said Michele Raneri, vice president of analytics and new business development at Experian. "The economy is expected to expand at a healthy pace this year supported by access to affordable consumer credit and we believe that credit will continue to rebound. All of the factors point towards a good year for credit in 2018."
The Experian report also found generational differences in change in credit scores and mortgage debt levels.
Millennials had an average score that was four points higher than the previous year. Although they have lowered overall average debt by 8%, the age group increased their mortgage debt by 6%. Experian said the increase is a positive sign for the generation.
Generation X has the highest mortgage debt of all generations. Experience also found that the age group has a high instance of late payments compared to the national average. Despite these, consumers in this generation have improved their credit scores in 2017, signaling better debt management.
Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation continue to carry a lot of mortgage debt. However, Experian found that Baby Boomers have the lowest late payment instance and members of the oldest generation keep other debts low and make payments on time.
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The national average consumer credit score improved in 2017, continuing an upward trend and signaling economic recovery, according to the State of Credit report released by Experian.