How Baby Boomers Use Credit


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Baby boomer consumers – those aged 54 to 73 – have an average credit score of 716, and according to an Experian expert, that number is unlikely to fluctuate much.

The last Experian Credit Status Report found that the baby boomers’ average score is only 13 points behind the cohort of older consumers (the silent generation, at 729) and 40 points above the cohort of consumers younger than them (Generation X, at 676).

Through responsible debt management over the years, the baby boom good credit rating marks a notable improvement over those still navigating the responsibilities (and debt) of midlife. But with their mid-life years behind them, baby boomers shouldn’t expect to see huge credit score gains in the future – rather as gradual, gradual upward ticks and less swings. generally.

This is in part due to already well-established routines: “One of the reasons we tend to see less dramatic changes or fluctuations in baby boomer credit behaviors is that as consumers age , they tend to better understand their credit history and the factors that influence it, ”says Rod Griffin, senior director of public education and advocacy for Experian.

The general idea is that, once you’re older, you’ve found your way to build good credit, like make bill payments on time and reduce your credit card balances. Such extra habits as you get older won’t make that much of a difference once you’ve already achieved a good credit rating.

For younger consumers, on the other hand, they are more likely to see larger jumps in their scores because they are just starting to build their credit history.

To get a better idea of ​​how the average baby boom consumer is handling their credit, below is an overview of the most recent data from Experian highlighting this generation.

Experian Credit Report: Baby Boomers

Experian 2020 results Baby boomers
Average VantageScore® 716
Average number of credit cards 3.45
Average credit card balance $ 6,747
Average renewable utilization rate 24%
Average number of retail credit cards 2.63
Average retail credit card balance $ 2100
Average late payment rate of 30 to 59 days 2.2%
Average late payment rate of 60 to 89 days 1.2%
Average late payment rates of 90 to 180 days 3.2%

Why Baby Boomers’ Borrowing Behaviors Are Unlikely to Change

What Baby Boomers Should Focus On

While the changes in baby boomers may be less significant than the changes we see in the credit behavior of younger generations, there is always room for improvement. Remember, time is on your side when it comes to having healthy credit. A long credit history can only help, so focus on sustaining that. A key factor is not closure your oldest credit card account.

If baby boomers want to continue to keep their credit scores high, Griffin encourages them to stay proactive in keeping tabs on their credit history. This way, they can be assured that credit will be available to them if and when they need it. retirement.

While it’s easy to relax over the years and stop tracking your credit score so closely, sign up for a credit monitoring The service is a convenient way to get real-time credit score alerts and monitor any changes to your credit report – something consumers of all ages can benefit from.

Capital One’s CreditWise® is a free service open to anyone and stands out by offering dark web scanning and social security number tracking. He also made it to CNBC Select’s list of best credit monitoring services.

Capital One’s CreditWise®

The information on CreditWise has been independently collected by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the company prior to posting.

  • Cost

  • Supervised credit bureaus

  • Credit rating model used

  • Dark web analysis

  • Identity insurance

Editorial note: The opinions, analyzes, criticisms or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the editorial staff of Select and have not been reviewed, endorsed or otherwise approved by any third party.

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