Millennials See Credit Scores Increase, Despite Worry

A woman checking her phone and holding a coffee outside next to the street.

There's no denying that for many millennials, social media is an important part of digital life. It's easy to understand why: Social followings connect people, show popularity and even can be leveraged as social currency that may offer tangible value to those with large audiences.

So it's not surprising that many millennials check their social media often—even multiple times each day. What might be surprising, though, is what millennials are checking even more often than their social followings: their credit scores.

To learn more about millennial attitudes toward credit, Experian surveyed 2,000 consumers ages 23 to 38 to see how they ranked their credit scores in importance relative to other numbers in their lives, including the number of followers they have on social media.

When asked how often they looked at their credit score, 82% said they had checked their credit score in the past three months. Credit scores beat out Twitter followers, YouTube subscribers and Snapchat friends as statistics millennials reported checking within the past quarter.

Millennials Worry About, and Want to Improve, Their Credit Scores

With such a large portion of millennials checking their credit scores frequently, it's obvious this generation is concerned about their credit. When asked, 51% of the millennials surveyed said they sometimes worry about their credit score. Even more, 59%, said they thought their credit scores were something they should work to improve.

While it's clear a majority of the millennials surveyed think they should be improving their scores, just over half (53%) said they were proactive about doing so. And a majority (52%) said they would feel disappointed if their scores were to go down.

Millennial Credit Reality: Their Scores Are Growing Faster Than Any Generation's

With so many millennials focused and worried about their credit scores, their persistence with improving their credit status is evident when looking at how their average scores have changed over time.

In the past five years, millennials have seen their average FICO® Score grow by 21 points, increasing from 647 in the second quarter of 2014 to 668 in the same quarter of 2019, according to Experian data. This is the largest increase of any generation for the same time period and shows that millennials are working to establish and build their credit.

What's Next for Millennial Credit Scores?

For millennials still looking to establish or build their credit scores, here are a few key tips to help improve credit scores:

  1. Apply for a line of credit to kickstart your credit history. Having and using credit—like a credit card—is one of the best ways to build and establish history as a borrower. Learn more about how to get your first credit card to see how to use the payment method to help you build credit.
  2. Pay all bills on time. Payment history is the most important aspect in calculating credit scores, so paying all bills on time is crucial for someone who wants to maintain a good credit score.
  3. Get credit for utility payments. Historically, utility and telecom payments have not factored into your credit scores. But now with Experian Boost®ø, you can get credit for on-time utility and telecom payments you've made using your checking or savings account. Experian Boost is a great option for millennials and people with a thin credit file looking to jumpstart or boost their credit score immediately.