It seems obvious. If you drive an expensive car, you must have an excellent credit score – but that’s not always the case.
Credit scores are calculated from factors in your credit report, including on-time payment history and how much of your available credit you use. You could be a Lamborghini driver who is drowning in debt and regularly misses payments on items other than your beloved car. You could also own a Lamborghini because you’ve saved money for years, have no other debts, and used credit properly to enable your dream car purchase.
How do drivers’ credit scores correlate to the model of car that they drive? LendingTree data from used auto loan applications tend to follow the stereotype, but there are significant differences.
Tesla drivers have the highest credit scores, with an average of 740 on the 300-850 scale – just breaking into the very good credit range (740-799). Used Teslas have the highest average value ($54,234) of the models studied, but Tesla drivers generally have a higher income. They can afford higher payments.
Overall, drivers of 22 of the thirty models studied fell into the good credit range (670-739).
Several luxury auto brands missed the top ten, including Mercedes-Benz, Cadillac, Infiniti, and Lincoln. Drivers of Fords, Hondas, and Toyotas all had higher average credit scores than those four brands.
Kia has a reputation as a low-cost alternative and those drivers do have a low average credit score of 659 – but they don’t have the lowest. Chrysler drivers claim the lowest average score (656). Nissan drivers have the third lowest average credit score (665), with Mini and Buick slightly better (666 and 667 respectively). All fall into the fair credit score range (580-669).