Credit Score Quiz Stumps Average American

Number of the Day: The most relevant or interesting figure in personal finance


The Balance

That’s the failing grade the average American received on a recent credit score quiz issued by Zillow Population Science.

When asked five questions about credit scores, the average American answered only two correctly, and the lack of knowledge spanned all age groups, the survey showed. Young people fared worse, likely due to lack of experience with credit, with only a quarter of Gen Z’ers (age 18-26) correctly answering at least three questions. But even less than half, or 46%, of Gen X’ers (age 42-46) and 41% of Boomers (57 and older) could answer at least three questions correctly.

The failing grade highlights the struggle Americans have in understanding the complicated scoring system that helps determine how much you can take out on a loan and at what interest rate, how much your auto insurance might cost, and even whether you will get the job or home you want.

Zillow surveyed more than 2,000 people across the nation between Feb. 11 and Feb. 19.

Quiz Yourself

You can take the quiz here and see how you stack up:

1) Which of these things does not typically impact on your credit score?

  • Paying off the minimum balance on your credit cards every month
  • Making your car loan payment on time every month
  • The amount of money you have invested in the stock market
  • How long your credit accounts have been open

2) When buying a house, your credit is monitored and can affect your mortgage up until...

  • Pre-approval
  • Making an offer
  • Going under contract
  • The day of closing

3) How long should you wait to buy a house after taking out a car loan?

  • 2 weeks
  • 3 months
  • 6 months
  • 2 years

4) How high does your credit score need to be to qualify for a conventional mortgage?

  • 700
  • 550
  • 620
  • 740

5) Rank the most important pieces of your credit score from most to least important.

  • Payment history
  • The length of your credit history
  • Amount of credit you’re using


  1. The amount of money you have invested in the stock market (67% of respondents answered correctly)
  2. The day of closing (47% answered correctly)
  3. 6 months (41% answered correctly)
  4. 620 (32% answered correctly)
  5. Payment history
    Amount of credit you’re using
    The length of your credit history
    (26% answered correctly)