Mortgage

Baby Boomers in Minnesota have the best credit scores

OK, Boomer, if you live in Nevada you get the "most improved" credit score prize

Baby Boomers in Minnesota had the highest credit scores among U.S. states and generations, according to a report from Experian on Thursday.

Boomers in the state known as the Land of 10,000 Lakes had an average FICO score of 762 in 2019, almost 60 points higher than the national average of 703 among all members of the generation born from 1946 to 1964.

North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Nebraska followed Minnesota as the top five states with the highest Baby Boomer credit scores. Boomers have longer credit histories than younger generations, which gives them an advantage in the matrix that measures how long credit accounts have been open.

While Baby Boomers might frown on the everyone-wins “participation trophies” that became popular with Generation X, born from 1965 to 1980, they might appreciate a most-improved designation that reflects hard work.

In this case, it goes to Nevada. Boomers in Nevada saw a 3.5% improvement in their credit scores in five years, according to the Experian report. Baby Boomers in the state that includes Las Vegas, the gambling capital of America, had an average FICO score of 717 in 2019, compared with 693 in 2015, the report said.

Florida Baby Boomers were next, with a 2.7% improvement in their average score, to 721 from 702, followed by Arizona and Michigan, up 2.5%, and Georgia, up 2.3%, the report showed.

The states with the lowest Baby Boomer credit scores were Mississippi, at an average 699, Louisiana, at 707, Texas, at 710 and Alabama, at 711, the report said.

While younger generations get a lot of attention because of burgeoning student loans, Baby Boomers were responsible for a growing portion of the $1.6 trillion of outstanding U.S. debt for educational loans.

In the five years ended in 2019, Boomers saw their student loan debt increase 29%, the Experian report said. It could reflect a late-in-life return to school, or educational debt they assumed for younger family members.

Fair Isaac, the company that produces the model used to compute FICO scores, said on Thursday it updated the formula with stricter criteria that will make it tougher for some consumers to get credit.

The changes won’t have a major impact on the mortgage industry, as lenders who sell their loans to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac use an older version of the FICO score.

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