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They keep a closer eye on it than any other generation.

More millennials are over renting, and joining their peers who’ve finally hit the milestone of homeownership.

One third (33 percent) plan to purchase a home within the next four to five years, says the Chase Slate 2017 Credit Outlook. Seventy-nine percent feel their credit score is going to affect the home they buy. Of those who want to improve their credit, 62 percent have a plan to.

More millennials (39 percent) check their credit score every month than Gen Xers (31 percent) and baby boomers (28 percent).

“Millennials are really doing their homework in preparation for buying a home in the near future,” says Mical Jeanlys, general manager of the Chase Slate credit card. “That includes monitoring their credit, which is key when purchasing a home.”

Millennials and homeownership

Less than a quarter (24 percent) of millennials said they were planning to purchase a home within the next three years.

They’re planning to build their credit up first. Which is a good thing: They also may need to save a little for the down payment.

They’re already out-saving older generations by socking away money at younger ages than they did. Still, it may not be enough.

Most millennials (80 percent) would like to purchase a home, says a study from Apartmentlist. However, 68 percent have less than $1,000 saved for a down payment and almost half (44 percent) don’t have anything saved to put down on a home.

More than half (53 percent) worried about the down payment over their monthly payments (36 percent) and low credit scores (29 percent), when considering their obstacles to affording a home.

Apartmentlist recommends homebuyers provide a 20 percent down payment on their purchase, but say it’s possible to purchase with less down.

Even with a 10 percent down payment goal, the site determined it may take years for them to stack up the amount necessary to put down on their future homes.

Only 36 percent will be able to pull it off in five years, while 26 percent will be able to in three years and 15 percent say they will have that percentage saved a year from now.

How can they improve their credit?

Most millennials (68 percent) who are homeowners say theirs is a “starter home” as a stepping stone to their “forever home,” according to a study from Bank of America.

Nearly 80 percent say it had a positive impact on their long-term financial picture, and 86 percent believe owning a home is more affordable than renting.

For those who haven’t joined the “millennial homeowner club” yet, there are a few simple tips they can follow to improve their credit.

A higher credit score will yield a lower mortgage rate. Bankrate says that a credit score of 740 or higher will qualify home buyers for the best interest rates from lenders. It is possible to get a mortgage with a credit score under 620, but it is difficult.

“Buyers below a certain threshold, typically a FICO score of 620, have a better chance of striking oil in their bathtub than securing a mortgage,” says Bankrate. “It’s possible, but it will require some digging.”

Bankrate recommends checking your credit one year or so before purchasing. Avoid opening new lines of credit if you can before buying a home.

“After years of seeing millennials sit on the sidelines, it’s clear some are recognizing it might not make sense to wait,” says D. Steve Boland, consumer lending executive for Bank of America. “We talk to younger buyers every day about homeownership, and they understand the benefits it can have on their long-term finances. They’re excited to get started but are taking a thoughtful approach by improving their credit and building their savings.”

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Meet the Author

Joe Pye

Joe Pye

Associate editor

Pye is the associate editor of


homebuyers, homeowners

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