Nov 02, 2021

Question of the Day: What's the average credit score needed to rent an apartment in 2021?

Answer: 638


  • Why do you think landlords care about an applicant's credit score when deciding whose application to accept for a rental apartment?
  • Why do you think landlords in these cities have such high standards when it comes to accepting applicants? 
  • If you want to rent an apartment after high school or college, what can you do to start to establish credit?

Here's the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom.


Behind the numbers (RentCafe): 

"Good credit is becoming increasingly crucial for renting an apartment. In fact, the average credit score needed to rent an apartment has been going up one point each year for the past three years. Specifically, according to our analysis of more than 5 million lease applications nationwide, the average credit score of renters in the U.S. was 638 in 2020.

According to data from the top 50 largest cities, credit scores of apartment renters range from more than 700 in some of the most competitive markets – like San Francisco, Boston, New York, Seattle, and Oakland, CA to less than 600 in Arlington, TX, Memphis, TN, Las Vegas, Indianapolis and Baltimore.

More precisely, San Francisco is the most competitive city to rent in. Renters here boast credit scores of no less than 719. It’s followed by cities of the same caliber, such as Boston (716), New York (715), and Seattle (706)."



Attend NGPF Professional Developments and earn Academy Credits on your own time! Check out NGPF On-Demand modules!


Want to access more Credit-focused activities and resources? Check out the Managing Credit unit page.

About the Author

Mason Butts

After graduating from UCLA with a Master's in Education, Mason spent 5 years as a science educator in a South Los Angeles public high school. He is committed to supporting the holistic growth of all students and empowering them to live a life of relational, academic, and financial success. Now settled in the Bay Area, Mason enjoys facilitating professional developments and partnering with educators as they prepare students for a bright financial future. When Mason is not building curriculum or planning a training, he can be found cycling, trying new foods, and exploring the outdoors.

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