Credit Scores for Lease Applicants Are Rising

Good credit is becoming increasingly crucial for renting an apartment and according to RentCafe’s latest report, the credit scores of renters and lease applicants has been going up one point each year since 2018.

“Specifically, according to our analysis of more than five million lease applicants nationwide, the average credit score of renters in the U.S. was 638 in 2020,” the report says.

Some key findings:

  • Baby boomers have the highest scores (683), while the youngest renters, Gen Z, are at the other end with 586. Still, it’s worth noting that, of all age groups, Gen Z increased their scores the most in the last three years, by 55 points since 2018.
  • Renters in San Francisco boast the highest scores in the nation, 719, followed by those in Boston (716), New York (715), and Seattle (706).
  • Nationwide, the average credit score of renters clocked in at 638 in 2020. Those living in high-end buildings are the only ones boasting above-average credit scores of 669.
  • Those with less-than-ideal scores can still find nice apartments in Arlington, TX, or Memphis, TN, cities where renters’ average scores hover around 580. Moreover, an extra 20 points would get them in a luxury building in places like Mesa, AZ, Las Vegas, or Houston. In these cities, the average credit scores for high-end buildings are the lowest in the country.

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