Millennial credit scores tell very different stories by city

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The average millennial borrower credit score remained unchanged in May, but values by city painted very different pictures, according to Ellie Mae.

Based on the percentage of mortgage loans closed to millennials, average credit scores ranged from 662 (Madisonville, Ky.) to as high as 757 (San Francisco) in the top housing markets for the cohort.

For comparison, the national average millennial borrower score held steady at 721 for the third consecutive month. This is the lowest average for the generation since April of last year. Regardless of age, the overall average FICO for borrowers who closed a mortgage in May was 724, a small increase from 723 in April.

"You would expect to see higher average FICO scores in the largest coastal metropolitan cities where loan amounts are higher, which we do see in areas such as San Francisco (757), Los Angeles (745), Boston (701) and Miami (722); however, there are some surprisingly high numbers in more rural areas, such as Mitchell, S.D., where the average FICO for millennials was 735 in May, higher than Boston or Miami," Joe Tyrrell, executive vice president of corporate strategy for Ellie Mae, said in a press release.

"Our Borrower Insights Survey recently found that many millennials have a strong misperception about needing a perfect credit score to qualify for a home loan," added Tyrrell.

Purchase loans made up 90% of all mortgages closed to millennials in May, growing from 89% from the prior month. Refinances accounted for 9% of closed loans, a decline of one percentage point.

Conventional loans comprised 68% of millennial closed loans, Federal Housing Administration loans made up 28% and Department of Veterans Affairs loans made up 2% of loans closed to millennials in May.

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Credit scores First time home buyers Purchase Refinance Ellie Mae FICO FHA The VA