Maintaining a good credit score is critical for personal financial success, but many millennials aren’t making it a priority.
Just 48 percent of millennials know their credit score (compared to 60 percent of Boomers), and only 37 percent of millennials are confident in their ability to manage credit, according to a new report by LoanDepot.
Millennials and Baby Boomers also differ in their approach to debt. Millennials were nearly twice as likely as Boomers to say that they’d consolidate credit card debt in order to spend more and are more likely to plan on using personal loans to pay for a wedding or vacation.
That may be why millennials have the lowest VantageScore of all generations, with an average score of 625 out of 850, according to Experian. (The national average is 667.) Millennials owe an average of $52,000 and have an estimated average income of $34,430
As more millennials move on the path to home ownership, they’ll like become more concerned with their credit scores. The difference between a score of 750 and 760 at today’s rates could cost a borrower nearly $9,000 over the life of a $200,000 mortgage, according to MyFICO.com.
Your credit score is important even if you’re not buying a home in the near future. Landlords look at credit scores when approving tenants and credit card companies and potential employers will also look at credit reports when making decisions.
It’s easier than ever to keep tabs on your score. Many banks and credit card issuers now provide a free score to consumers each month.