Millennial mortgage debt levels could soon top all other generations

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Millennial mortgage debt is on pace to reach levels higher than any other generation, according to Experian.

Currently claiming the title of most mortgage debt is Generation X, but not by much. This comes as no surprise as Gen Xers are a bit older and more likely to be settled down — but millennials still come close.

Millennials held an average mortgage balance of $210,923 in the first quarter, compared to $233,859 for Gen Xers. For perspective, baby boomers, the Silent Generation and Generation Z held balances of $175,439, $130,595 and $120,209, respectively.

Mortgage debt levels for millennials increased 5% from the previous year. This is among the highest growth rates of any cohort. Gen X's mortgage debt levels rose 2% annually, while boomers' remained unchanged.

Results vary, with millennials in some regions trumping national average mortgage debt levels by more than double.

Millennial mortgage balances were most staggeringly high in Washington, D.C., where the average housing debt for the cohort was $450,985 in 1Q19. Hawaii was close behind with an average balance of $408,167, followed by California at $391,627.

In contrast, millennials in Puerto Rico and West Virginia have the lowest average balances, with home loan debt totaling $121,059 and $138,554, respectively.

From Middle America to upstate New York, here's a look at cities offering the best opportunities to millennial buyers.
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The average millennial FICO score was 667 in the first quarter, the lowest for any generation. The national average credit score is 703, according to Experian.

In high-debt states like Washington, average FICOs were a healthier 698, compared to lower-debt regions like Puerto Rico and West Virginia, which have average credit scores of 657 and 640, respectively.

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