My wife and I bought a new car back in January.

When it came time to meet with the Financing Department, I was shocked to find that my wife had a better credit score than me (I had a "Very Good" score compared to her "Excellent" score)! I've always been careful in using my credit card and paying it off in a timely manner while my wife has had a more haphazard approach.

According to various sources including The Ascent and Investopedia, Minnesotans on average have the highest FICO credit score in the country with an average score of 733. Vermont, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Washington, and North Dakota are all close behind. The average FICO score in the United States is 706, reports The Ascent. The highest credit score, meanwhile, is 850 though it's extremely difficult to reach a perfect score. Only 20% of Americans have a credit score of 800 or higher.

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FICO credit score ranges are:

799–740Very Good
579–300Very Poor

The Ascent lists some ways to improve a credit score, including:

  • Paying off your credit card balance every month
  • Correcting errors on your credit report
  • Keeping an old credit card open, even if you don't use it often
  • Paying your bills on-time
  • Requesting an increase to your credit limit

The states with the lowest FICO credit score (in 2021) were Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Oklahoma, Texas, and Georgia.

Read more about FICO credit scores -- including what a good credit score for credit cards and loans is -- here.

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