Americans Don’t Understand Credit Scores

April 6, 2021
Credit Scores
Data shows that median credit scores for first-time homebuyers are around 740, up from the 680-700 range from 2002-2007.

The spring homebuying season is here, but how many Americans have their credit score in tip-top shape to lock in that ideal rate for the largest purchase of their lifetime? A new study by Zillow has found that the average American does not fully understand exactly what causes their credit score to change and what impacts their score. When asked five questions about credit scores, the average American answered only two correctly, according to Zillow. The struggle to understand credit scoring wasn’t limited to just younger Americans that may have less experience building and utilizing credit. Quiz-takers were most likely (67%) to correctly answer that investments in the stock market do not typically impact their credit scores. Less than half (47%) correctly answered that credit scores can affect your home loan until the day you close, and just 41% knew that you should wait at least six months after taking out a car loan before applying for a home loan. Zillow research found a borrower with a "fair" credit score could pay 7% more over the life of a 30-year mortgage for the same home as an otherwise identical borrower with an "excellent" score. A recent report from the NY Fed's Center for Microeconomic Data shows that median credit scores for mortgages of first-time homebuyers ended 2020 at around 740. This represents a far higher average than credit scores that were in the 680-700 range from 2002-2007.

Source: DSNews