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What credit score is needed to buy or rent?

Excellent credit is needed to buy or rent in many regions of California. How does your credit score compare to other homebuyers and renters?

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By Ron Trujillo/ron@calhomenews.com

Home-shoppers are often competing for homes, with bidding wars and multiple offers common in many markets in the state. So, the best-possible credit score is a must to catch the attention of lenders and sellers.

Well, you better have excellent credit. The average California homebuyer had a credit score of 751 during the second quarter, the second-highest figure in the nation behind Hawaii’s 756, according to CoreLogic.

Nationwide, the average homeowner had a credit score of 745 during the second quarter, nine points higher than the 736 a year ago.

How much has consumer credit and the market changed? Only 2% of homebuyers had a credit score of 640 or less during the April-through-June period, compared to 25% for the same three-month period in 2001.

Feature illustration courtesy by Casper1774 Studio/Shutterstock.

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Californians with far-from-excellent credit may have a difficult time renting apartments, according to RENTCafe report.

San Francisco, Oakland and Los Angeles were among the nation’s top 10 cities for credit scores for renters, according to tenant screening data from RentGrow.

San Francisco has the second-highest average credit score for renters in the nation at 724, just a bit lower than the 737 average in Boston. San Francisco has the priciest rent at $3,440, a 38% increase during the past five years.

Oakland finished in fifth-place on the average credit score-to-rent list at 707. The city boasts the largest five-year percentage gain in rent at 52.7%, with the average apartment going for $2,520 per month. (Seattle has the second-largest percentage increase at 51.8%.)

Los Angeles consumers must have an average credit score of 691 before landlords open the door to their $2,289 apartments, a 38.1% increase over the past five years.

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