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This generation of Americans has the lowest credit score

The greatest generation of Americans has the lowest credit scores.

Millennials — those roughly defined as ages 19 to 34 — have the lowest credit scores of any generation of Americans. They have an average credit score of 625 on an average debt of $52,120. In comparison, Generation X (ages 35-49) has a credit score of 650 on an average debt of $125,000, while baby boomers and the largest generation (with a combined age between 50 and 87) have a credit score of 709 on average debt. of $87,438.

“It’s important to keep in mind that credit scores are based on credit experiences,” says Michele Raneri, vice president of analytics and business development at Experian, while talking about millennials. “Although this generation has been slower to use credit, they have plenty of opportunities to build a positive credit history.”

The report – released by credit bureau Experian – was based on a statistically relevant sample of anonymous data from Experian’s consumer credit database. The VantageScore 3.0 – which ranges from 300 to 800 – was the credit score used in this study. Anything between 601 and 660 is considered fair credit, while bad credit is between 501 and 600 and bad credit is considered below 500, according to the financial website Credit.com. But different lenders may have different criteria when it comes to lending money and may approve borrowers with a credit score below 700. (The US Census Bureau estimates that millennials are expected to hit 75.3 million people this year, surpassing the projected 74.9 million baby boomers. .)

Read: 5 things to know to improve your credit score

The size of millennials as a group makes them a powerful (and growing) segment of society, Raneri says, but — in some cases, at least — they take on more debt than the oldest cohort at their age. Car loans represent 14% of all recently opened accounts for millennials compared to 1% for Generation X at the same age in 1998, for example. Similarly, student loans account for 24% of all new accounts for Millennials, compared to 20% for their Gen X counterparts at a comparable age. However, fewer millennials in 2015 have a love for plastic, with just 27% of their recently opened accounts being bank cards, according to the report, compared to 46% for their Gen X counterparts at the same age.

Also see: How a couple cleared a $125,000 debt

According to another recent study by CreditCards.com, a credit card comparison site, some 36% of millennials have never owned a credit card, compared to 13% of Gen Xers and baby boomers. One possible reason for this is that the Credit Cards Act 2009, or Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights, imposed strict rules on the marketing and issuance of credit cards to young adults: Americans 21 and under must show proof of income to repay card loans or have an adult co-signer if they want accounts in their own name. As their incomes improve, experts say more millennials will switch to credit cards for greater rewards and consumer protection. Credit cards also limit liability on stolen funds to $50 while liability is tiered for debit cards.