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Unraveling the Downturn: FICO's Recent Score Dip

Unraveling the Downturn: FICO's Recent Score Dip

The average FICO score in the U.S. saw a significant rise from 688 in 2005 to a peak of 718 in July 2023, reflecting two decades of generally positive trends in consumer credit behavior. However, in a surprising turn, the average score slightly decreased to 717 in October 2023. This minor dip is significant due to the expansive dataset of over 200 million consumers, suggesting underlying shifts in credit risk, including increased delinquencies and credit card debt. The past upward trends in scores were also partly influenced by the removal of negative information, such as tax liens, civil judgments, and medical collections from credit reports, artificially boosting score averages. These changes, coupled with recent increases in credit card utilization and delinquencies, point to potential challenges in consumer credit health that could affect lending and financial services broadly.

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