Millennials Have Lower Credit Scores than Other Generations
Millennials have the lowest average credit scores of all generations, according to a new study from Experian.
The group of 18 to 34-year-olds had an average score of 625, while Generation X (35-49) have an average score of 650 and Baby Boomers and the Greatest Generation (50-87) had an average score of 709.
On the surface, the average debt for Millennials was significantly less than that of other generations. The youngest group of participants, also referred to as Generation Y, had an average debt of $52,120, compared to $125,000 for Generation X and $87,438 for the two oldest generations. But if mortgage debt is taken out of the equation, the averages are about the same across all generations. Millennials had an average debt of $26,485, while Gen X had $26,670 and the two oldest generations had debt that averaged $19,217.
Part of the low scores and relatively low debt for Millennials may be due to lack of credit experience. Recent studies show just over one third of Millennials have never owned a credit card, and many of them simply have not been on their own long enough to build their credit history. The 625 average score shows there is significant room for improvement.
“It’s important to keep in mind that credit scores are built on credit experiences,” said Michele Raneri, vice president of analytics and business development at Experian. “While [Millennials have] been slower to use credit, they have plenty of opportunities to build a positive credit history.”