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The Millennial Credit Trap

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis July 25, 2014 09:56 AM

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First-time buyers in their twenties and early thirties certainly have it tough.

The job market for the young and ambitious has been the worst since the Great Depression.

That's led to a plunge in homeownership among millennials.

Added to all this, though, is the age-old challenge anyone just starting out faces when trying to buy anything, let alone a house.

If you don't have a record of taking out debt and paying it off, banks take a dimmer view, especially when it comes to applying for a mortgage.

It may be better to have mediocre credit than no credit at all.

Now along comes credit agency TransUnion, with a new initiative that could provide a boost to some millennial buyers - or at least those making the rent.

TransUnion is collecting data on rent payments from apartment building owners across the country in a bid to tap this new market.

And the credit rating agency has released a study claiming that including rent payments could provide a big boost to the credit scores of Renter Nation.

TransUnion claims its initiative raised the credit scores of seven in ten renters after a month. Of these, 20 percent saw a ten point jump.

Of course, this may not help everyone. If you've been late on your rent, well you could find yourself in an even bigger credit hole than you were in before.

To paraphrase good old George W. Bush, when you are young and foolish you are apt to be young and foolish.

Maybe the best way to boost your credit score, though, is to buy a house. First-time buyers saw their credit score jump by 5.2 percent after a year of making mortgage payments, TransUnion found in its report.

But of course, to buy a house you need to get a mortgage first, and there's there rub.

What's your take? Should rent be included in credit scores?



This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About boston real estate now
Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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