In a market as competitive as Seattle, breaking into homeownership is a victory in and of itself. But for many Seattleites, home-sweet-home is not the place they own, but the room they rent. Even rentals are competitive, with the most desirable rental units and locations going at market rates that make many prospective renters think twice. As such, securing an apartment in the Emerald City involves a fair bit of luck, ingenuity and of course, a decent credit score.
A new study from RentCafe reveals that Seattle renters rank fourth in the nation for average credit scores among those who live in large cities. The only locations with stronger average credit scores among renters are equally competitive — San Francisco, New York and Boston.
On average, a renter in Seattle has a credit score of 706, placing them far above the national average. Those renting in mid-level buildings had an even higher score of around 710, and those renting lower-end buildings were around 682 — which still placed them ahead of the average renter in low-score cities including Arlington, TX and Memphis, TN.
The average credit score also varied by age, with Boomer renters in Seattle averaging a score of 719, Millennials around 714 and Gen Z coming in much lower at 666 (although given that the latter generation is still young, they likely have plenty of time to close this gap).
Across the nation, the average score for renters in 2020 was 638 — so even low-end renters in Seattle were ahead of the pack. At the other end of the spectrum, cities like Las Vegas, Indianapolis and Baltimore all had the lowest average credit scores among renters in large cities.
The fact that Seattle renters have such high credit scores generally bodes well for those who are looking to improve their living situation in the future. Whether they’re striving for a better rental unit, or looking to take advantage of the current low interest rates, a strong credit score is a good foundation to build on.
This article was originally posted on Seattle P.I. by Becca Savransky.