You likely spent your 20s growing a lot, making mistakes, and discovering yourself. Your 30s, however, are a time for refinement and fine-tuning.
While in your 20s, you were just starting your financial life. Yet, hitting the big 3-0 signaled that it was time to level up your finances. One way you can do this is by improving your credit score.
In this guide, we break down what a good credit score looks like your in 30s, and why this is important.
A good credit score in your 30s
When you’re in your 30s, you’ve had a decade to establish and build your credit. You might still have student loans, as well as several credit cards. You may even have a car loan or a mortgage.
If you played your cards right, your credit score may be in good shape. But if you spent your 20s racking up credit card bills and in denial about your student loan debt, your credit score might not be so hot. According to data from Credit Karma, the average credit score for 25-34 year olds is 628. The most popular credit scoring model, FICO, defines a “good” credit score as 670 to 739.
If you take the average credit score of 628 and add the other two data points that FICO describes as “good” – 670 and 739 – and divide by three, you get 679. And, while a credit score of 679 is a good benchmark in your 30s, having a score in the low to mid 700s is even better.
Let’s back up a bit. In your 30s, a good credit score in the 700s should be attainable. Why? Take a look at these factors to understand what contributes to your credit score and why a good score can be achievable in your 30s.
What factors make up your credit?
The length of your credit history is one of the factors that make up your credit score. By your 30s, you should have a solid credit history with years of data.
On top of that, your credit mix is another factor that contributes to your score. This refers to the different types of credit you have, like an auto loan and a credit card. By your 30s, it’s likely that your credit mix is more diverse, which can boost your score. For example, you might have an auto loan, student loans, credit cards and a mortgage. If you make your payments on time and keep your balances low, this can reflect well on your credit score.
The two main factors that contribute to your credit score are your payment history and your credit utilization. If you have years of positive repayment history and never missed a single payment, then time is on your side! This can show lenders that you’re a responsible borrower.
Additionally, keeping your balance below 30 percent of your available credit, also called your credit utilization, is important. If you have high balances, whether you pay them off in full each month or not, this can be a red flag to lenders who might think you’re a risk.
Given all of these factors, you should aim for a “good credit score” in the 700s. If you’re not quite there, don’t fret. Pay off your debt, keep your balances low, minimize the number of accounts you open, and pay your bills on time. This will help boost your credit score.
Why is having a good credit score in your 30s important?
So, why is having a good credit score in your 30s important anyway?
Your credit score can seem like just a number. But in your 30s, when you’re ready to level up your finances and life, a credit score can make or break your options.
For example, you may be ready to start a family and buy a house. Your credit score, in turn, can influence whether you get approved for a mortgage and what interest rate you get.
Or, perhaps you want to refinance your student loans to try to save money. Good credit can help make this achievable. Plus, if you have kids and want to get a minivan, you’ll want to snag a great rate on an auto loan. And, you guessed it, a good credit score will help you get a lower interest rate.
Your 30s are all about coming into your own and refining everything you learned in your 20s. This is true of your credit too! This is the time to look at your mistakes, reflect and revamp. If your credit isn’t great, you still have time to improve and all is not lost.
Just think: Once you have a good credit score in your 30s, you can get the best interest rates and start reaching your life milestones without all the extra costs.