Millennials on Pace to Hold Most Mortgage Debt

Millennials on Pace to Hold Most Mortgage Debt article image.

As millennials—people currently between the ages of 23 and 38—grow older, they typically become increasingly reliant on conventional debt products like credit cards and mortgages.

With many millennials now well into their 30s, they are on a quick pace to hold more average mortgage debt than any of their peers. In the first quarter (Q1) of 2019, millennials held an average of $222,211 in mortgage debt, according to recent data from Experian. That's a 5% increase from Q1 2018 and is one of the largest mortgage debt increases seen by any generation in the past year.

As part of our larger look into the state of U.S. mortgage debt, Experian reviewed credit data from Q1 2019 to find out more about millennials and mortgage debt to see how the generation fared in the housing market compared with its peers. Read on for our insights and analysis.

Millennials Carry Second-Highest Average Mortgage Debt

Millennials now have the second-highest average mortgage balance of any generation. Among millennials who have a mortgage, the average amount owed was $222,211 in Q1 2019—up 5% from last year's $210,923.

Compare that with Generation X—people between ages 39 and 54, which held the highest average mortgage balances of $237,753 in Q1 2019—and the balances of the younger generation are fast approaching.

Average Mortgage Balances By Generation
GenerationAverage FICO® Score Q1 2019Average Mortgage Balance Q1 2018Average Mortgage Balance Q1 2019Year-Over-Year Change
Generation Z668$120,209$138,193+15%
Generation X688$233,859$237,753+2
Baby Boomers731$175,439$175,743+0
Silent Generation756$130,595$131,658+1

Source: Experian Q1 2019 data

Millennials' Mortgage Growth Tops Nearly All Generations

When it came to growth in mortgage debt over the past year, millennials saw their mortgage balances grow more on average than almost any other generation. Millennial mortgage balances grew an average of 5%, which was the second-highest growth rate behind members of Generation Z, who saw their average balances increase by 15% since Q1 2018.

Members of Generation Z—those age 22 and younger who had the lowest average mortgage balance of any generation in Q1 2018 at $120,209—increased their mortgage debt to $138,193, outgrowing the silent generation's mortgage debt. The silent generation now carries the lowest average mortgage balances, at $131,658 in Q1 2019.

Millennials in Washington, D.C., Carry Highest Mortgage Balances

Millennials in Washington, D.C., carried an average mortgage balance of $450,985 in Q1 2019, according to Experian data. That's more than double the national average of $202,284 and slightly higher than Washington, D.C.'s average of $416,848 across all generations.

In addition to having the highest mortgage balances, Washington, D.C., was among the top 10 states with highest millennial credit scores. Millennials in the state had an average FICO® Score of 698, which is a few points shy of the national average of 703, but significantly higher than the 667 average held by millennials nationally.

States With the Highest Average Millennial Mortgage Balances
StateAverage FICO® ScoreAverage Mortgage BalanceAverage Total Debt
Washington, D.C.698$450,985$106,973

Source: Experian Q1 2019 data

Puerto Rico and West Virginia Have Lowest Millennial Mortgage Balances

Puerto Rico was home to the lowest mortgage balance among millennials, totaling an average of $121,059 in Q1 2019. West Virginia wasn't far behind, with an average mortgage balance of $138,554 among millennials. These states also hold some of the lower average FICO® Scores in the U.S.—West Virginia had an average score of 640 and Puerto Rico's had an average of 657.

States With the Lowest Average Millennial Mortgage Balances
StateAverage FICO® ScoreAverage Mortgage BalanceAverage Total Debt
Puerto Rico657$121,059$67,393
West Virginia640$138,554$66,647

Source: Experian Q1 2019 data

If you're a millennial and are interested in finding out more about your mortgage debt or your credit if you're looking into getting a mortgage, consider getting a free copy of your credit report and FICO® Score from Experian to see what is in your file.

You can learn more about mortgages by checking out Experian's mortgage articles.

Methodology: The analysis results provided are based on an Experian-created statistically relevant aggregate sampling of our consumer credit database that may include use of the FICO® Score 8 version. Different sampling parameters may generate different findings compared with other similar analysis. Analyzed credit data did not contain personal identification information. Metro areas group counties and cities into specific geographic areas for population censuses and compilations of related statistical data.

FICO® is a registered trademark of Fair Isaac Corporation in the U.S. and other countries.