Credit Scores at a Glance

05/1/24  |  Lori Docherty

Did you know that Americans’ average credit scores recently dropped for the first time in a decade? Many, however, still appear to be maintaining a relatively healthy score. Here’s the average credit score  by generation as of March 2024, per VantageScore CreditGauge data (CNBC):
Gen Z (18 to 27): 665
Millennials (28 to 43): 687
Gen X (44 to 59): 710
Baby boomers (60 to 78): 746
Silent generation (79 to 96): 750 
Many factors are used to calculate your credit score, including your payment history, the amounts you owe, your credit mix and how often you’ve recently opened a new line of credit. Understandably, older generations tend to have higher scores since they’ve had a longer time establishing and maintaining their credit.
It is recommended that you start working on your credit before you apply for a home loan. A higher score increases a lender's confidence that you will make timely payments and may help you qualify for a lower mortgage interest rate and fees. Here are a few resources that can be helpful when it comes to counseling on credit scores.
1. Credit Counseling Agencies: Nonprofit credit counseling agencies are valuable resources for individuals seeking guidance on improving their credit scores. These agencies offer advice on debt management, budgeting, and strategies for enhancing creditworthiness. 
2. Real Estate Agents: Experienced real estate agents often assist clients in improving their credit scores to qualify for mortgages. They can provide insights and may have referrals to reputable credit counseling services. 
3. Online Resources: Reputable websites such as Credit Karma, Experian, and NerdWallet offer educational articles, tools, and tips for managing and enhancing credit scores.
4. Financial Advisors: Certified financial advisors can provide personalized guidance on credit score improvement and financial management, helping individuals create plans to address credit issues. 
5. Credit Reporting Agencies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, the major credit reporting agencies, offer educational materials on understanding credit reports, scores, and factors that influence creditworthiness. 
It's important for individuals to be cautious of scams when seeking credit counseling and to ensure they work with accredited organizations. Specific real estate professionals, such as mortgage brokers or loan officers, may have tailored resources for the home buying process and credit score requirements.
Please feel free to reach out should you have any questions or resource referrals.

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