5 credit score must-knows for millennials

4 min read

Sorry, millennial.

You may be able to text with 1 hand, name all your memes and replicate cupcake recipes off of Pinterest, but there’s 1 area you’ve yet to master: credit scoring.

According to a recent survey by the Consumer Federation of America and VantageScore Solutions, 18- to 34-year-olds know less than other demographic groups about who collects the information on which scores are based, and what defines a good credit score.

Don’t feel too bad. There’s an explanation for this.

“Millennials are less knowledgeable about credit scores simply because they have had less experience in the financial services marketplace” than older consumers, says Stephen Brobeck, executive director of the Consumer Federation of America.

All this credit confusion could lead to big problems down the road. You need a solid credit score to qualify for a mortgage, auto loan and other financing. One misstep — like forgetting to pay that credit card bill you opened up just to score a discount on some sweet new kicks — can make the good old American dream that much harder to achieve.

In order to help you avoid any pitfalls, we’ve put together a primer on credit scores and credit reports. Here’s what you absolutely must know.