While foreclosure completions remained relatively flat in October, foreclosure starts rose to 33,000, hitting their highest level in 18 months, according to the ICE Mortgage Monitor report.
In October, there were 217,000 loans in active foreclosure, up 3,000 since September. However, this remains 25% under the pre-pandemic levels.
The national delinquency rate fell three basis points to 3.26% in October. Both short-term and long-term delinquencies ticked down.
Serious delinquencies (90+ days past due) fell, with 8,000 fewer borrowers in that category at 447,000 people in total. That is the lowest level since 2006, according to the report. Additionally, 70% of these loans are protected from foreclosure by loss mitigation efforts.
Meanwhile, early-stage delinquencies (30 and 60 days past due) also took a dive, down 15,000 borrowers month over month to 1.7 million in total. It was the first decline recorded in five months.
The five states with the worst mortgage performance were Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Indiana and Arkansas. At the other end of the spectrum, California, Idaho, Montana, Washington and Colorado showed the best mortgage performance.
With three natural forests, 45 state parks, 13 major lakes, 2 mountain ranges and 9,000 miles of streams and rivers, Arkansas has earned its nickname as The Natural State. The southern state is loaded with outdoor attractions and features many communities with affordable apartments. But where are the cheapest places to live in Arkansas?
Arkansas average rent prices
Major cities like Little Rock, Bentonville and Fayetteville are more well-known since they have major attractions like the Clinton Presidential Library and Museum, headquarters of Walmart and home of the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks, respectively. But Arkansas’s rent price still averages significantly lower than many states, where it’s not unusual to drop one or two thousand bucks a month on a one-bedroom. Texas is about $1,276 on average while a one-bedroom in Tennessee is $1,307 on average.
Although Arkansas on the whole has seen a monthly rent increase of 5.1 percent in the last year, you can still find a great place for less than $1,000 a month since the average one-bedroom is $807.
The cheapest cities in Arkansas for renters
Budget-conscious renters will appreciate the fact that all of the cities on this list fall below the state average. Take a look at the 10 cheapest places to live in Arkansas, based on one-bedroom rent prices.
Source: Rent./The Greens at Longhills
Average 1-BR rent price: $658
Average rent change in the past year: 1.77%
A suburb of Little Rock, Benton is located between Little Rock and Hot Springs along I-30. The family-friendly community offers residents great schools, an active downtown, farmers market, food trucks and locally-owned shops. In 2017, a former airport became the new River Center, which features a senior center, convention center, aquatics center, fitness classes and more to residents of Benton.
Source: Rent./The Greens at Hurricane Creek
Average 1-BR rent price: $656
Average rent change in the past year: 2.85%
Located in the center of the state and near the capital of Little Rock, Bryant has a suburban feel to its community. From organizing ways to increase recycling to promoting adopt-a-street programs, the community of Bryant comes together to improve their neighborhoods and services.
Source: Rent./The Landing at Greensborough Village
Average 1-BR rent price: $640
Average rent change in the past year: 8.10%
The fifth-largest city in Arkansas, Jonesboro sits on the northeastern corner of the state. The West Washington Avenue Historic District features 13 historic properties from 1890 to 1930. Locals enjoy having access to Craighead Forest Park, a city-owned park located on Crowley’s Ridge that features a 60-acre fishing lake, camping facilities, hiking/biking trails and nature areas within Jonesboro city limits.
Source: Rent./The Links at Sherwood
Average 1-BR rent price: $633
Average rent change in the past year: 2.02%
Another suburb of Little Rock, Sherwood is about 10 minutes from the major city and in the center of the state. Delta Dental of Arkansas has its headquarters in Sherwood and most recently, Wipro Limited, a global information technology and consulting company, shared it will open a new delivery center in the city. Expect neighbors to say hello as you walk the dog or ride your bike with your kids in this tight-knit community.
Source: Rent./Angelo’s Grove
Average 1-BR rent price: $632
Average rent change in the past year: 2.40%
Located along the Mississippi River and just shy of 10 miles from Memphis, TN, Marion offers its residents a quality school system and active youth, family and civic engagement. Marion residents appreciate living in a small town and being able to access big-city attractions and amenities within a short distance.
Average 1-BR rent price: $597
Average rent change in the past year: 0.76%
Located in central Arkansas, Conway is known as the City of Colleges since it’s home to three post-secondary educational institutions. The city, which includes Lake Conway, one of the largest man-made game and fishing commission lakes in the country, is also home to a thriving economy filled with restaurants and retailers.
Average 1-BR rent price: $567
Average rent change in the past year: 2.44%
The Arkansas River Valley runs through Russellville and the city, which has more of a suburban feel to it, takes advantage of its natural amenity with events, such as the three-day Arkansas River Valley Bike Fest. The city also offers 14 parks, a skateboard park and softball and baseball complexes. Locals and visitors can fish, hunt, kayak and canoe in the Arkansas River Valley. Russellville is also home to a major public university: Arkansas Tech University.
Average 1-BR rent price: $553
Average rent change in the past year: 2.36%
Located on the southwest border of the state and across the state line from its twin city of the same name in Texas, the city features five golf courses, Little League teams, local bands and more to keep residents entertained. Texarkana also is home to one of only two U.S. Post Offices that sits in two states at once. Don’t miss an opportunity to get a photo in Arkansas and Texas at the same time with the Texarkana Federal Court House in the background.
2. Fort Smith
Average 1-BR rent price: $502
Average rent change in the past year: 6.53%
Nestled right at the Arkansas and Oklahoma border on the northwest side of Arkansas, Fort Smith’s slogan is “Where the New South Meets the Old West.” The third-largest city in Arkansas is loaded with history. The Fort Smith Museum of History captures much of it for locals and visitors alike. Elvis fans will appreciate that they can still visit Fort Chaffee’s Barbershop and see where the singer received his famous Army buzz cut.
1. Pine Bluff
Average 1-BR rent price: $440
Average rent change in the past year: 0.00%
Home to the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, the city of Pine Bluff also features a number of cultural attractions including the Arkansas Railroad Museum and the Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas. Locals and visitors can take a walk along downtown Pine Bluff and learn some interesting historical facts about the city through the colorful murals that grace its downtown buildings.
The most expensive places to live in Arkansas
While this list features some of the cheapest places to live in Arkansas, here are some of the most expensive places to call home in this state.
Rent prices are based on a one-year rolling weighted average from Apartment Guide and Rent.’s multifamily rental property inventory as of August 2021. Our team uses a weighted average formula that more accurately represents price availability for each unit type and reduces the influence of seasonality on rent prices in specific markets.
We excluded cities with insufficient inventory from this report.
The rent information included in this article is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.
As a Chicago-based freelance writer, Megy Karydes has covered everything from space-aged tomato seeds grown in a Chicago Public School to Chicago Blues musician Lurrie Bell. Her work has been featured in USA Today, Travel + Leisure, Midwest Living magazine and other national and regional media outlets. When she’s not out exploring the city with her two children and husband, she’s perfecting her air hockey technique.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) generally requires that you report a forgiven or canceled debt as income for tax purposes. But forgiven student loan debt is different.
The American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act specifies that student loan debt discharged between 2021 and 2025, and incurred for postsecondary education expenses, will not be counted as income, and therefore does not incur a federal tax liability.
This includes federal Direct Loans, Family Federal Education Loans (FFEL), Perkins Loans, and federal consolidation loans. Additionally, non-federal loans such as state education loans, institutional loans direct from colleges and universities, and even private student loans also qualify.
However, some states have indicated that they still count canceled student loans as taxable income. Read on for more information about which discharged student debt is taxable and by whom.
Different Student Loan Forgiveness Programs
Federal student debt can be canceled via an income-driven repayment plan (IDR) or forgiveness programs.
While President Joe Biden’s plan to offer federal debt cancellation of up to $20,000 to those with qualifying income failed — struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court — other forms of student loan forgiveness have been strengthened.
In October 2023, the White House announced at least $127 billion in student loan relief for nearly 3.6 million Americans:
• $5.2 billion in additional debt relief for 53,000 borrowers under Public Service Loan Forgiveness programs.
• Nearly $2.8 billion in new debt relief for nearly 51,000 borrowers through fixes to income-driven repayment. These are borrowers who made 20 years or more of payments but never got the relief they were entitled to.
• $1.2 billion for nearly 22,000 borrowers who have a total or permanent disability who have been identified and approved for discharge through a data match with the Social Security Administration.
Recommended: Guide to Student Loan Forgiveness
Whose Student Loan Cancellation Is Not Federally Taxed?
As stated earlier, under the provisions of the ARP Act, any student debt (private or federal) for post-secondary education that was or is forgiven in the years of 2021 through 2025 will not be federally taxed. This means that the borrowers just listed above were not required to report their discharged loan amount as earned income, and therefore taxable.
Outside of the special five-year window of tax exemption provided by the ARP Act, participants in the Public Service Federal Loan program who receive forgiveness also don’t have to worry about paying taxes on the canceled amount. The program explicitly states that earned forgiveness through PSLF is not considered taxable income.
Recommended: A Look Into the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program
Whose Student Loan Cancellation Is Federally Taxed?
Borrowers who receive loan cancellation after participating fully in an income-driven loan repayment plan can generally expect to pay taxes. Again, those whose debt was discharged in 2021 and 2022, or will be discharged in 2023, 2024, or 2025, will not need to pay federal taxes on their forgiven loans.
Forgiven amounts that are taxable are treated as earned income during the fiscal year it was received. Your lender might issue tax Form 1099-C to denote your debt cancellation. 💡 Quick Tip: Enjoy no hidden fees and special member benefits when you refinance student loans with SoFi.
Which States Have Said They Will Tax Forgiven Student Loans?
Typically, states follow the tax policy of the federal government. But some states have announced that their residents must include their forgiven or canceled student loan amount on their state tax returns.
As of October 2023, the states that say forgiven loans are taxable are Mississippi, North Carolina, Indiana, Wisconsin, and possibly Arkansas, depending on an upcoming vote in its legislature. More states could decide to do so.
It’s important to consult a qualified tax accountant or someone knowledgeable about forgiveness of student loans in your state to confirm the latest information of how much you owe.
Preparing to Pay Discharged Student Loan Taxes
If you’re anticipating a tax liability after receiving loan forgiveness, there are a few steps you can take today to get ready.
Step 1: Estimate Your Bill
The first step when bracing for a student loan forgiveness tax bill is calculating how much you might owe come tax season. This factor can be influenced by factors including the type of forgiveness you are receiving and the forgiven amount.
To avoid sticker shock, you can use a student loan forgiveness tax calculator, like the Loan Simulator on StudentAid.gov. It lets you see how much of your student loan debt might be forgiven, based on your projected earnings.
Step 2: Choose the Right Plan
Enrolling your federal student loans into an IDR plan can help you keep your monthly payments to a manageable amount while you’re awaiting loan forgiveness. All of these repayment plans calculate your monthly payment based on your income and family size.
The newest IDR program is the Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) plan, which offers unique benefits that will lower payments for many borrowers, to as low as 5% of disposable income in 2024 for those who qualify.
Recommended: The SAVE Plan: What Student Loan Borrowers Need to Know
Step 3: Prioritize Saving
If you’re expecting loan forgiveness after 2025, it might be advantageous to allocate extra cash flow toward a dedicated tax savings fund. Incrementally setting money aside over multiple years can ease the burden of a sudden lump sum tax bill down the line.
Paying Taxes on Canceled Student Loan
If you can’t afford to cover an increased tax bill, contact the IRS to discuss your options. Inquire about payment plans that can help you pay smaller tax payments over a longer period of time. However, be aware that fees and interest will likely accrue. 💡 Quick Tip: Refinancing could be a great choice for working graduates who have higher-interest graduate PLUS loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, and/or private loans.
Thanks to a special law passed by Congress in 2021, post-secondary education loans forgiven from 2021 through 2025 will not count as earned income and will not be federally taxed. That said, state taxes may be due, depending on where the borrower lives.
Looking to lower your monthly student loan payment? Refinancing may be one way to do it — by extending your loan term, getting a lower interest rate than what you currently have, or both. (Please note that refinancing federal loans makes them ineligible for federal forgiveness and protections. Also, lengthening your loan term may mean paying more in interest over the life of the loan.) SoFi student loan refinancing offers flexible terms that fit your budget.
With SoFi, refinancing is fast, easy, and all online. We offer competitive fixed and variable rates.
Is loan repayment considered taxable income?
If your employer offers loan repayment assistance benefits, they would typically be considered taxable income. However under the Cares Act, loan forgiveness payments — and employer assistance loan payments up to $5,250 — made each year from 2021 through 2025 are tax-free.
Will refinancing my student loans help me avoid taxes?
Student loan refinancing simply involves reworking one or more existing student loans into a new private loan with more favorable terms. It’s a repayment strategy that does not incur a tax liability.
Photo credit: iStock/fizkes
SoFi Student Loan Refinance If you are a federal student loan borrower, you should consider all of your repayment opportunities including the opportunity to refinance your student loan debt at a lower APR or to extend your term to achieve a lower monthly payment. Please note that once you refinance federal student loans you will no longer be eligible for current or future flexible payment options available to federal loan borrowers, including but not limited to income-based repayment plans or extended repayment plans.
SoFi Loan Products SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.
Tax Information: This article provides general background information only and is not intended to serve as legal or tax advice or as a substitute for legal counsel. You should consult your own attorney and/or tax advisor if you have a question requiring legal or tax advice.
Non affiliation: SoFi isn’t affiliated with any of the companies highlighted in this article.
Non affiliation: SoFi isn’t affiliated with any of the companies highlighted in this article.
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
Everyone has heard of Nashville. It’s not called Music City, U.S.A. for nothing! Most people think the city is all about country music, cowboy boots and line dancing, but locals know the Nashville facts that are the truth behind the stereotypes.
It has great weather and amazing views. Some of the most unique architecture in the country is here. Two U.S. Presidents are buried in or near Nashville. As for music, sure we’re the home of country music, but Elvis also recorded more than 200 songs at RCA Studios. Here are a bunch of other Nashville facts known only to locals.
39 facts only real Nashville locals know
1. BBQ is a separate food group. Don’t argue about it. Just try all the different kinds and decide on a favorite. Not all of them involve pork and tomatoes. Barbecue chicken with Liquid Gold barbecue sauce is a national treasure.
2. Named “The Athens of the South,” Nashville is the only city in the world that has a replica of the Parthenon from Athens, Greece. You can find it in Centennial Park.
3. The city hosts Tin Pan South, the largest festival for songwriters in the world. Songwriters of all genres, not just country, descend on the city every spring for the weeklong festival. Many perform their work on street corners, as well as at local music venues.
4. The creators of Maxwell House Coffee did it in Nashville. President Theodore Roosevelt reportedly gave the brand its famous tagline “Good to the last drop” when he tried it on a visit to the city.
5. The Grand Ole Opry has been airing weekly for 94 years. It’s the longest-running show in the entire world. It’s still carried on the radio, as well as on TV and the auditorium is always packed with a live audience. Good luck getting tickets if you don’t make plans in advance!
6. Revolutionary War general, Francis Nash, is the inspiration for the name Nashville. The city was founded in the middle of the war in 1779.
7. The famous music scene began with African-American gospel groups, not country music. It all started with the Jubilee Singers of Fisk University way back in the 1870s. Emancipated slaves studying at the university were the first members of the group. They traveled the country to raise money to fund the school. The group is still around and continues to travel and perform.
8. Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center is an overrated tourist attraction that’s not worth the admission price except in December. That’s when Opryland turns into a true wonderland that delights Christmas lovers of all ages. It’s the best Christmas display in the city.
9. The first seeing-eye guide dog in the United States was trained in Nashville by a native named Morris Frank. He left his studies at Vanderbilt University to travel to Europe to find out more about the seeing-eye dogs he’d heard about. He returned with his first guide dog, Buddy, and began training more. The foundation he created, The Seeing Eye, is still in Nashville.
10. Hunting for the best apartments in Nashville is easier and more fun compared to other cities. There are many types of apartments to choose from here. Nashville is more affordable than most other big cities, too!
11. Nashville is where the phrase “Old Glory” became popularized to describe the American flag. It started in the Civil War when a retired sailor named William Driver retrieved his hidden flag and flew it over the city after the Union Army recaptured it from the Confederates. He referred to his flag as “Old Glory” and the nickname caught on.
12. Famous thoroughbreds War Admiral and Seabiscuit were both born in Nashville. Move over, Louisville. They’ve got the Triple Crown winners right here in Nashvegas. Belle Meade Plantation, which bred both horses, is open to the public for tours. They also offer tastings at the on-site winery.
13. Every neighborhood in Nashville is distinctive and has its own personality. You’re sure to find one that suits you perfectly.
14. The architecture at the Country Music Hall of Fame is better, but the real country music history is at the Johnny Cash Museum. They’re proud of their favorite native son. (Yes, he was born in Arkansas, but they overlook that small flaw.)
15. Pancake Pantry’s pancakes aren’t worth the wait. Neither are the biscuits from Biscuit Love. They’re both overpriced restaurants that cater primarily to tourists. Many other restaurants have pancakes and biscuits that are homemade, just as good and don’t require an hour-long wait.
16. Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack IS worth standing in line for. Be prepared to drink a bucket of water to douse the heat. That chicken is hot, hot, hot.
17. Nashville was the first city in the South to desegregate public businesses. The protests and sit-ins that led to the victory sparked civil rights advocates in other cities to do the same.
18. RCA Studio B stays decorated for Christmas since Elvis recorded his first Christmas album there in the middle of July. The Music Row Studio is open to the public year-round.
19. Goo Goo Clusters were created in Nashville and are still made right here. The company makes over 3 million pounds of chewy confection every year.
20. The city has thriving hip-hop and rap scenes. Some of the best rappers have come from Cashville, including Young Buck, Lil Queze and Starlito.
21. Speaking of music, Nashville has a ton of live music venues and might be the only place in the world where you can listen to bluegrass, walk next door to catch a country concert, then go downstairs to listen to a rap battle and finally finish off the day by driving down the road to listen to the Nashville Symphony perform.
22. Nashville has more people working in the music industry than anywhere else in the country, including Los Angeles and New York. Over 60,000 music industry jobs are in Nashville. That’s four times as many as the next nearest city.
23. No one really knows what goes on in the Batman Building downtown. Supposedly, it’s owned by AT&T and is an office building for them, but locals aren’t so sure. Could Bruce Wayne have an office on the top floor?
24. Nashville has the only music studio left in the entire world that can record music directly on vinyl records. The Blue Room is part of Jack White’s Third Man Records and has live performances, too.
25. The only American to ever become President of a foreign country was born in Nashville. William Walker became Chief Executive of Nicaragua in 1856.
26. Ryman Auditorium started off as a meeting place for local gospel churches. It was only later converted into a concert venue. It’s been a designated Historic Landmark since 2001.
27. The Frist Art Museum is an underrated landmark. It’s one of the only museums on the National Register of Historic Places. The building itself is a work of art in the Art Deco style. It was the main post office!
28. Nashville is home to the oldest FM radio station in the country. It’s another reason for the nickname “Music City.” In fact, local legend has it that it was one of the DJs for this music station back in the day that first called Nashville by the famous moniker.
29. The Gulch is still an old hippie neighborhood, despite the new businesses moving in. It’s still the best place to find eccentric shops and bars. There’s no better location in town to hear eclectic music, either.
30. We’re the only city other than Los Angeles to ever host the Grammy Awards. They’d love to do it again if anyone from the Recording Academy is reading this.
31. Sri Ganesha Temple and Sanctuary will transport you to another time and place. It’s a replica of Hindu Temples built in India between 900 and 1100 AD. The temple welcomes visitors and holds tours daily, but it is a working temple, so it closes periodically during the day for services. There’s a restaurant and a gift shop on-site, too.
32. Nashville has the largest Kurdish community in the U.S. More than 15,000 Kurds call Nashville home, though the U.S. Census has yet to recognize the refugees from Iraq. The community calls its neighborhood Little Kurdistan.
33. Percy Priest Lake is the best place to go boating and hiking despite the entry fee, which is only $5, anyway. There are miles of trails and campgrounds, as well as plenty of boat ramps.
34. Nashville is home to over 678,000 people. It’s the biggest city in the state of Tennessee and is rapidly growing. Its population has grown by almost 13 percent since 2010 and it’s the 23rd largest city in the United States. More and more people are discovering the charms of Music City and deciding to call it home!
35. The monument to Lysicrates in Athens was the inspiration for the Tennessee State Capitol building, which is one of the oldest capitol buildings in the country still operating. President James Polk and his wife are buried on the grounds.
36. Even people who don’t like country music will admit that the architecture at the Country Music Hall of Fame is amazing. From the front windows designed to look like piano keys, to the physical representation of recording technology evolution that makes up the rotunda’s roof, it’s worth visiting just to see the building.
37. The Honky Tonk Highway is the nickname for an area of South Broadway that has bars and other venues playing live music — and letting it flow outside onto the streets —from 10 a.m. every morning until 3 a.m. the following morning. Many of the venues have multiple floors and they rarely publish their playing schedules in advance. Sometimes, music stars just show up and start playing.
38. President Andrew Jackson lived just outside Nashville on an estate named The Hermitage. He’s buried on the grounds. The estate is now a museum dedicated to the history and the President’s life.
39. Wave Country is the place to go during the summer. The freshwater swimming pool and water park complex can easily be an all-day affair to help the family keep cool during the hot Southern summers. There are concession stands but you can also bring your own picnic. You can even bring a tent if you like.
Did we miss any Nashville facts?
Residents are proud of their city and heritage. If you’re moving to Music City, you can find apartments in Nashville here.
Did we forget any Nashville facts that we should have included? Did we get anything wrong? Let us know in the comments below!
You may think that because you have bad credit, buying a house is out of reach for you. But, there are plenty of trustworthy mortgage lenders with good offers willing to loan to people with poor credit.
So, you might just have to start packing sooner than you thought.
Best Mortgage Lenders for People with Bad Credit
For flexible mortgage options with less stringent credit score requirements, check out LendingTree. Instead of serving as a direct lender, LendingTree aggregates multiple mortgage offers after you fill out a single application.
The process is completed entirely online, and you could potentially see up to five different offers from various mortgage lenders. From there, you can compare the interest rates and terms to see if any fit your needs.
LendingTree also offers mortgages from lenders that provide a broad range of home loan types.
In addition to conventional loans, you can also access loans from the Federal Housing Administration (FHA loans) and VA loans. These come with lower credit requirements and lower down payment requirements.
With an FHA loan, for example, you could qualify with a minimum credit score of just 580 and a 3.5% minimum down payment on your new home’s purchase price. Even if your credit score is lower than 580, an FHA loan is still possible if you increase your down payment to 10%.
For multiple home loan options with a quick and easy application process, be sure to consider applying through LendingTree.
Read our full review of LendingTree
CitiMortgage has a range of home loan products for people with various credit scores. A unique feature of CitiMortgage is that they consider nontraditional credit situations, such as paying rent and child support on time.
They only approve loans for houses in good condition. This means all construction must be finished, and the roof and windows must be intact.
So, no fixer-uppers, HGTV fans. In addition, there is a $100 application fee and an origination fee, but this is not unusual.
If you can’t put much of a down payment down, CitiMortgage offers what they call a HomeRun loan program. This program allows you to only pay 3% down. Plus, they don’t even require you to pay for private mortgage insurance.
So, a $200,000 house would only require you to put $6,000 down. Applicants must make 80% or less than the neighborhood’s average income. However, it’s available to anyone in low-income areas.
CitiMortgage also offers a conventional loan geared toward those with low income and low credit scores. It comes with no mortgage insurance requirements and highly competitive interest rates. However, origination fees are typically a bit higher.
Read our full review of CitiMortgage
For those seeking a user-friendly online experience alongside a variety of loan options, Rocket Mortgage is worth considering. As one of the pioneers in the digital mortgage industry, their process is streamlined, allowing you to get pre-qualified in mere minutes.
They offer an array of loan types including Conventional, FHA, VA, and Jumbo loans. Terms range from 8 to 30 years, which includes popular 15-year and 30-year terms.
Those with a credit score of 620 will find themselves comfortably eligible, but Rocket Mortgage also caters to those with scores as low as 580, as long as other criteria are met.
One of the highlights of Rocket Mortgage is their flexibility in property types. Whether you’re looking to buy or refinance a single-family home, a second home, an investment property, or even a condo, they’ve got you covered.
Their user-centric approach is further exemplified by their dedicated Rocket Mortgage app, ensuring easy access to your account.
A potential downside is the hard inquiry they conduct to offer a personalized interest rate, which could have a minor impact on your credit score.
Additionally, they do not provide USDA loans, HELOCs, construction loans, or mortgages for mobile homes. For those eyeing jumbo loans, it’s worth noting that Rocket Mortgage does not manage these accounts post-closure.
However, if a swift online process coupled with diverse loan options appeals to you, Rocket Mortgage stands out as an excellent choice.
Read our full review of Rocket Mortgage
Navy Federal Credit Union
Serving military members and their families, Navy Federal Credit Union makes first-time home buyers their number one priority.
They help would-be homeowners by offering a wide variety of loans. Some of their loans include:
30-year and 15-year fixed-rate loans
Their standout loan is the HomeBuyers Choice. It’s a fixed interest rate 15 or 30-year loan with 100% financing and no mortgage insurance.
There is a 1.75% funding fee that you can get waived if you’re willing to pay a higher interest rate. This is a great option at closing if you need to save some cash.
Like CitiMortgage, Navy Federal evaluates a range of payments for borrowers with poor credit scores, such as rent, cell phone, and utility payments. There is no minimum credit score requirement for VA loans, but it’s 620 for others.
The only real downside is that some borrowers report that it takes longer to close on houses than other mortgage lenders.
This is not incompetency by any means. On the contrary, with such popular mortgage options, they likely have more volume to get through than other lenders.
Read our full review of Navy Federal Credit Union
Best Refinance Lender for Borrowers with Bad Credit
For borrowers with bad credit scores who are considering refinancing their mortgages, we recommend Connexus.
By no means just a refinancing company, Connexus is an all-around great credit union with nothing but positive feedback online. With a super strong and user-intuitive web presence, they’re easily one of the trailblazers for next-generation banking.
Connexus offers great mortgage interest rates for anyone, but they do something a little special regarding refinancing. Any homeowner can go to their website and fill out an online form detailing what they currently have.
After only two business days, a loan officer from Connexus Credit Union will call you to discuss every option available. They call this their “No-hassle mortgage comparison.”
If you’re worried about low credit scores, Connexus also considers alternative methods to determine your ability to repay a loan. This includes utility bills, rent, monthly cell phone payments, and child support.
Read our full review of Connexus
Best Mortgage Lenders for Customer Support
Decent customer support seems to be what companies struggle with the most these days. People want 24/7 support, but they don’t want to speak with robots. Two companies that have figured out how to meet customer expectations are HomeBridge and Network Capital.
At HomeBridge, you can initiate your mortgage application online, where they have various home loan programs to choose from.
You can also learn about the pros and cons of each loan and refinance option through their extensive library of educational content.
Where they really receive their accolades, however, is through their customer support. It’s not something they really boast about, but they are constantly tweaking the process of getting a loan or refinance more user-friendly.
Any negative feedback a customer provides is addressed as soon as possible by HomeBridge so that every customer can walk away happy. Look for this kind of dedication elsewhere, and you’re going to have a tough time.
Most companies who perform customer feedback questionnaires analyze the results and ask themselves how to resolve the problem moving forward.
HomeBridge not only resolves the problem moving forward but will actually go back to the initial complaint and address that specific issue, too.
Read our full review of HomeBridge
Be advised: Network Capital does have its faults. For example, it only does business in the following states:
It also doesn’t have an online prequalification tool. So if you’re interested, you’ve got to go through the whole process to see if this mortgage lender is even interested in working with you.
Even with these complaints, we still love Network Capital. Why? They’re doing many things right.
For starters, they don’t charge any lender fees.
Secondly, they offer support to you while you’re applying and want you to call and ask questions. Even if it’s just for a small question that will take them three seconds to answer, they want you to call.
Tri Nguyen, the founder, believes that no matter how digital we become, everyone wants to hear a human’s voice during such a significant life decision. So, they are there to answer questions and help you gather documentation.
And they do this all before they even know if they want your business. But don’t worry: the minimum credit score they require is only 600.
Read our full review of Network Capital
Best All-Around Mortgage Lenders for Borrowers with Bad Credit
Taking into account the entire user experience, there are two bad credit mortgage lenders that stand out:
New American Funding
New American Funding is just about everywhere and doing everything right. They have 150 branch locations across the U.S. (except New York and Hawaii) and have a solid web presence.
The loan application can be completed online. You can also get rate quotes, and you can track your loan status remotely.
New American Funding works with down payment assistance programs in numerous states. They also have a vast array of loan products.
Here’s a list of everything they offer:
Adjustable-rate loans (5/1, 7/1, 10/1)
Bank Statement Loans
Conventional and FHA Loans for Renovation
Fixed-rate Loans of 10, 15, 20, and 30 years
FHA loans, VA loans, and USDA loans
Manufactured home loans
Unlike other mortgage lenders, they still do everything old-school — they evaluate each application individually with (gasp!) a real live human. No algorithms here.
In other words, they’ll look at you holistically despite your bad credit score because they understand that cultures handle money differently.
For example, Latinos tend to pull money from family members when making a large purchase and prefer cash to credit cards.
With a no-debt mindset, of course, you may have a low credit score, but that doesn’t mean you don’t know how to handle money.
A person’s ability to be a responsible homeowner goes beyond what the three major credit bureaus consider. And New American understands that.
Read our full review of New American Funding
Carrington Mortgage Services
Carrington Mortgage Services seems to bend over backward to help people with poor credit become homeowners. They’re even willing to work with you if your FICO score is as low as 550.
Carrington also requires all homeowners to go through a mortgage education program before purchasing, which some people consider a negative.
They do this to make sure all borrowers understand everything that revolves around a home loan so that they’ll be more likely to make better financial decisions in the future.
Carrington considers the typical factors that play into your credit score, like payment history and money owed. However, they also consider job history, job stability, gross income, and down payment size for approval.
Need assistance with a down payment?
Depending on where you live, Carrington may be able to help you. However, the program isn’t available nationwide because some states would require Carrington to sell the servicing rights to the associated loans if they helped with the down payment.
If they did this, it would impact their ability to work with low-income, bad credit borrowers.
It should come as no surprise that Carrington has a solid digital infrastructure, and offers competitive refinance rates. Their customer service is also among the best of the best.
The only cons we can come up with for this company is that it’s not in every state (Alaska, Massachusetts, North Dakota, and Vermont.) Additionally, Carrington can’t offer down payment assistance nationwide.
Bottom line: Carrington Mortgage Services is awesome.
Read our full review of Carrington Mortgage Services
Tips for Applying for a Home Loan With Bad Credit
Many of the mortgage lenders listed in this article are ideal for borrowers with high credit scores. But if you have a lower credit score, know that it’s still possible for you to qualify for a home loan.
Many bad credit mortgage lenders are willing to work with borrowers that have lower credit scores. Here are five steps you can take to get started.
1. Take steps to begin improving your credit score
The first place to start is to request a free credit report from each of the credit bureaus. Your credit reports will give you an idea of where you are currently and the steps you can take to improve your credit score.
Make sure you check your credit report for any inaccuracies or derogatory marks. You can request to have any incorrect information removed. If you have any negative marks on your credit report, you can write your lender a goodwill letter and ask to have them removed as well.
The best way to improve your credit score is by paying down credit card debt and making monthly payments on time. Just taking these two action steps alone should help your credit score, since they account for most of your FICO score.
2. Be realistic about what you can afford
You can still apply for a mortgage with a bad credit score. But be realistic about what you can afford with your current budget.
With a low credit score, most lenders will see you as more of a risk of defaulting on your mortgage, so you will have a higher interest rate. However, if you only request the maximum loan amount you need, you’ll have a better chance of getting approved for your loan.
3. Check out alternative loans
Borrowers with imperfect credit may qualify for a bad credit mortgage loan with alternative homebuyer programs. For example, borrowers can get an FHA loan with credit scores as low as 580. The required minimum down payment is 3.5%.
Veterans with less than perfect credit should look into getting a VA loan. These mortgage loans don’t have a minimum down payment requirement and are easier to qualify for than conventional mortgages.
Finally, USDA loans are designed for low-income homebuyers in rural areas. They typically require a credit score of at least 640.
See also: 14 First-Time Homebuyer Grants and Programs for 2023
4. Save up for a sizable down payment
If you want to increase your odds of approval, then it’s a good idea to save up for a sizable down payment. At least 20% is ideal for convention loans. It will also save you from having to take out private mortgage insurance (PMI).
A down payment won’t compensate for a bad credit score. However, it could help you make your case with some lenders.
5. Consider applying with a qualified cosigner
And finally, you can look into applying with a qualified cosigner. When you apply with a cosigner, that person agrees to take legal responsibility and repay the loan if you can’t. And since that person’s credit score is tied to the loan as well, it increases your odds of approval.
However, cosigning a loan is a risky move. So, you only want to ask someone to do this if you’re confident you can make your monthly mortgage payments. Otherwise, you’re putting that individual’s financial future at risk.
How to Compare Lenders for Bad Credit
Finding the best mortgage lender to fit your financial situation requires careful consideration. You need to be sure about what you need from any bad credit home loan. Along with mortgage rates and loan terms, here are the other major factors to consider when comparing mortgage lenders:
Minimum Credit Score Requirements
Minimum credit scores will vary depending on the mortgage lender and the specific loan product. There are many lenders who will work with a low credit score, including all the lenders we’ve analyzed above.
In most cases, the maximum debt-to-income ratio that lenders will work with is around 43%. However, with so many online mortgage lenders today, you will still find mortgage companies that have higher than normal debt-to-income limits.
Make sure you’re clear on where your debt-to-income ratio stands. Then, take some time to see if you can improve it before applying for a loan formally.
Down Payment Requirements
The reality is, if you have a bad credit score, you’ll likely be required to save a larger minimum down payment. Generally speaking, those with a lower credit score who still qualify for lending will need a down payment of 10%.
However, regardless of what your credit history looks like, it’s useful to shop around. This is because most mortgage lenders will consider a range of factors when evaluating your loan application.
Home Buyer Assistance Programs
When considering different mortgage products, make sure to look for any home buyer assistance programs. Many companies have their own programs with benefits. They can range from a lower minimum credit score requirement, lower down payment percentages, or credits toward closing costs.
The most common mortgage fees include origination fees, application fees, underwriting fees, processing fees, and administrative fees. Some lenders don’t charge these fees, but don’t forget to check what they do charge.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is considered ‘bad credit’ for a mortgage?
According toFICO, which is the biggest credit scoring company, anything below 580 is considered poor credit. Here’s a quick run through of the entire credit scoring range:
300 – 579 – Poor credit
580 – 669 – Fair credit
670 – 739 – Good credit
740 – 799 – Very good credit
800 – 850 – Exceptional credit
However, the definition of ‘bad credit’ can vary between lenders, as they won’t all stick rigidly to FICO scoring. So keep this in mind as you look for loan products to apply for, and make use of online loan quotes that don’t run hard credit checks.
Can I get approved for a mortgage with bad credit?
Absolutely, it is possible to qualify for a mortgage even if you’ve got a low credit score. Your credit score is always an important factor for mortgage lenders. However, alternative credit data such as stable employment and saving a large down payment can sometimes help offset a bad credit score.
Some mortgage products, like FHA loans, come with lower minimum credit score requirements than conventional loans. However, if possible, you should always try to build your credit score before taking out a loan. This can help you significantly improve your mortgage options. It can land you a better interest rate and lower monthly payment, potentially saving you thousands of dollars.
What type of mortgage can I qualify for with bad credit?
There are several types of mortgage products available for those with poor credit:
Government backed loan programs, such as Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans, are among the most popular options for bad credit borrowers. The majority of people will need a minimum credit score of 580 to qualify, as well as a minimum down payment of 3.5%. However, if you can make a 10% down payment, you could be eligible for an FHA mortgage with a credit score as low as 500.
While VA loans don’t have any formal credit score requirement, the reality is that the ideal credit minimum varies between lenders. If you do go for a VA loan, keep in mind that many lenders prefer to lend to those with a higher credit score. However, others will be more sympathetic to lower credit scores.
Another of the popular government backed loans, USDA loans typically require a credit score of at least 640. However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to qualify for a USDA-backed loan with a low credit score. It just means your application will have to be processed manually, and may require consideration of alternative credit data.
If your score is high enough, you can use a USDA loan to purchase a home with no down payment.
What is the lowest credit score I can get a mortgage with?
The lowest credit score you can get a mortgage with varies depending on the type of loan and the individual lender’s requirements. Conventional loans usually have a minimum credit score of 620, and for jumbo loans it’s 680. However, FHA, VA, and USDA loans allow lower minimum credit scores and might make more sense for you if your credit is poor.
For lenders who offer bad credit mortgages, a credit score of 500 is generally the lowest that lenders will work with. Your interest rate will be high and you’re likely to need a large down payment to get a mortgage with a score this low.
Buying a house is a dream for many Americans, but it can feel very out of reach for some people. To qualify for a mortgage, you’ll need an adequate credit score and down payment, which many people just don’t have.
That is where the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA) comes in. The NACA has helped hundreds of thousands of people find affordable housing with no money down and no minimum credit score. NACA also provides financial assistance for approved homeowners that encounter financial difficulties.
If you’ve been struggling to figure out how you’ll afford to purchase a home, then the NACA program could help. This article will explain how the NACA mortgage process works and how the organization could help you find your next home.
What is the NACA mortgage program?
The Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA), a non-profit organization established in 1988, is dedicated to providing affordable housing options to Americans. Its mission is to combat discriminatory and unjust lending practices. With 45 branches across the United States, NACA assists borrowers with low credit scores in securing affordable mortgages.
NACA offers various solutions such as property improvement and foreclosure avoidance to help achieve this goal. Additionally, the organization helps homeowners reorganize their existing mortgages, preventing them from losing their homes to foreclosure. Nevertheless, NACA’s signature mortgage program remains the most sought-after offering among its services.
How does the NACA program work?
The NACA is known for its purchase program, which it calls the Best in America Mortgage Program. This program is designed to make homeownership more affordable for everyone.
If you applied for a mortgage through a bank or credit union, you would undergo an extensive credit check. But the NACA makes it possible to buy a home with:
No down payment requirement
No closing costs
No requirement for perfect credit
No limits on your income
No fees – The lender pays the appraisal costs, attorney fees, title insurance, transfer tax, settlement agent fees, and buyer closing costs.
All of this is available at a below-market interest rate. Currently, the NACA is offering a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage of 2.125% APR and a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage of 1.75% APR. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better deal anywhere else.
Bank of America stands as NACA’s largest and most significant partner, providing a major portion of the funding for the loans.
NACA Requirements and Qualifications
Before you assume the NACA mortgage program is too good to be true, there are certain requirements you’re going to have to meet to qualify. Unlike traditional lending practices, NACA evaluates creditworthiness based on character, rather than solely relying on credit scores.
For instance, NACA members won’t be penalized for financial hardship caused by an injury or illness. But you must demonstrate that you can afford to pay your monthly housing expenses.
These expenses include your mortgage payments, property taxes, homeowners insurance, and HOA dues. And your income can’t fluctuate from month to month.
While there are no income restrictions in the NACA purchase program, earning higher than the median income could limit your home buying options to specific regions. It’s also worth noting that owning another property while closing on a NACA mortgage is strictly prohibited.
Furthermore, as a NACA mortgage recipient, you are expected to engage in a minimum of five membership activities annually. These activities include volunteering at NACA offices, participating in protests, or offering support to other members during the home buying process.
Unfortunately, the NACA mortgage program still isn’t available everywhere, though the organization is working hard to expand across the U.S. It’s currently available in the following states:
District of Columbia
NACA Program Pros and Cons
Here are some of the biggest advantages and disadvantages of taking out a mortgage through the NACA.
Buying a home with no down payment or standard closing costs
Snag a below-market interest rate on a 15-year or 30-year mortgage
No credit requirements or income limits to apply
Receive extensive borrower education and training
Time-consuming application process
Program isn’t available in all 50 states
There are limits to how much you can borrow
You’ll have to pay for property taxes and homeowners insurance
NACA Loan Limits
The NACA home buying program has loan limits that cap your mortgage amount. The purchase price of a home cannot exceed the conforming loan limit, which is $647,200 for a single-unit property in most states. The conforming loan limit for a single-unit home in Alaska and Hawaii is $970,800.
Who qualifies for the NACA program?
The NACA mortgage program is very generous, but there are several steps you’ll need to take before you can close on your home. Here are the seven steps you’ll take to complete the NACA loan qualification process.
1. Attend a free homebuyer workshop
If you’re considering applying for a NACA mortgage, you’ll first have to attend a homebuyer workshop. During this free workshop, you’ll learn more about homeownership and how to qualify for the NACA mortgage program. Then, you can register on the company’s website to reserve your spot.
2. Meet with your housing counselor
Once you’ve completed the homebuyer workshop, the NACA will assign you a housing counselor to guide you through this process. Your housing counselor will help you determine an affordable monthly mortgage payment and help you come up with a reasonable monthly budget. You’ll continue to meet with your counselor until you’ve qualified for the NACA housing program.
3. Attend a NACA purchase workshop
Once you’ve qualified for the mortgage program, you must attend a purchased workshop at the NACA office. During this workshop, you’ll review the home purchase process and work with a real estate agent to help you find the right home.
4. Receive a property qualification letter
Once you’ve chosen the home you plan to buy, you’ll have to get in touch with your housing counselor again. They will help you secure your qualification letter.
This letter states that you are qualified to purchase the home you’re interested in. Your NACA counselor and real estate agent can also help you draft an offer on the home.
5. Get your home inspected
Before you can purchase a home, it must pass a NACA home inspection and pest inspection. If the inspection reveals any problems with the home, you must resolve those issues before you can close on the home.
6. Meet with your mortgage consultant
Throughout this entire mortgage process, you should be saving money, maintaining your income level, and paying your bills on time. At this point, you’re going to meet with your mortgage consultant to prove that you’ve met the required guidelines and are ready to move forward with the mortgage application.
7. Close on your mortgage
Now it’s time to close on your home! There are no closing costs for a NACA mortgage. Additionally, NACA members do not pay private mortgage insurance (PMI).
Instead, your NACA membership provides you with a post-purchase assistance program through NACA’s Membership Assistance Program (MAP). But this is the final step that allows you to close on your new home and finalize the process.
Alternatives to the NACA program
The NACA program may not be suitable for everyone, or you may not qualify. If this is the case, consider other mortgage programs that may be available to you.
For low-to-moderate income borrowers who may not meet the stringent requirements of conventional loans, the Federal Housing Administration offers the FHA loan program. With lower down payment needs and more lenient credit score standards, these loans provide a viable option for those looking to finance their first home.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture extends its support to those seeking to purchase a home in rural or suburban areas through its USDA loan program. These loans offer attractive terms such as low or no down payment options and competitive interest rates, with the aim of fostering home ownership in less densely populated regions.
As a way to show appreciation for the sacrifices made by military service members, veterans, and their surviving spouses, the Department of Veterans Affairs provides VA loans.
These loans, exclusive to eligible individuals, boast features such as no down payment requirement, no private mortgage insurance, and interest rates that are often more favorable than those of traditional loans.
First-Time Homebuyer Programs
For those entering the housing market for the first time, many states and local governments offer programs tailored to their needs. First-time homebuyer programs often provide financial assistance in the form of lower interest rates and down payment assistance, as well as other incentives, making homeownership a reality for those who may not have the funds for a down payment otherwise.
Down Payment Assistance
To help alleviate the burden of the upfront costs of buying a home, down payment assistance (DPA) programs are available from government agencies, non-profit organizations, and private lenders.
These programs provide homebuyers with the necessary funds to cover their down payment, allowing them to get one step closer to affordable homeownership.
National Homebuyers Fund
As a non-profit organization, the National Homebuyers Fund offers down payment assistance to low-and moderate-income homebuyers in the form of grants that do not need to be repaid. Their mission is to provide a helping hand to those who may not have the resources to make a down payment on their own.
The CBC Mortgage Agency’s Chenoa Fund is a down payment assistance program that provides low-and moderate-income homebuyers with up to 3.5% of the home’s purchase price. This support is provided through either forgivable or repayable second mortgage loan options.
If you’re concerned that you don’t have the down payment or credit requirements necessary to apply for a traditional mortgage, a NACA mortgage may be a suitable option. Borrowers that qualify could receive low-interest mortgages with no down payment, closing costs, or fees. The application process is tedious, but the benefits can help you achieve the dream of homeownership.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a minimum credit score requirement for the NACA program?
No, NACA does not consider credit scores for mortgage approval. Instead, they look at your payment history and ability to make future mortgage payments.
Is there an income limit to qualify for the NACA program?
There is no strict income limit to qualify for the NACA program. The program is designed primarily to assist low- to moderate-income individuals and families, but it does not set an upper limit on income. The focus is more on your ability to afford the mortgage payments, and whether you meet other program criteria.
How long does the NACA mortgage process take?
The time frame can vary depending on individual circumstances, but generally, it takes several months from attending the initial workshop to closing on a home. The more promptly you can provide the required documentation and fulfill program requirements, the quicker the process will likely be.
How does the NACA mortgage differ from a traditional mortgage?
NACA mortgages typically offer more favorable terms compared to traditional mortgages. They come with no down payment, no closing costs, and no requirement for private mortgage insurance (PMI). The interest rates are often below market rate as well.
Can I use a NACA mortgage to refinance my existing loan?
No, NACA mortgages are designed for the purchase of a primary residence only. They cannot be used for refinancing existing loans or for investment properties.
Gender-affirming care encompasses a broad range of psychological, behavioral and medical treatments for transgender, nonbinary and gender-nonconforming people.
The care is designed to “support and affirm an individual’s gender identity” when it is at odds with the sex they were assigned at birth, as defined by the World Health Organization.
What is gender-affirming surgery?
Gender-affirming surgery refers to the surgical and cosmetic procedures that give transgender and nonbinary people “the physical appearance and functional abilities of the gender they know themselves to be,” according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. It is sometimes called gender reassignment surgery.
There are three main types of gender-affirming surgeries, per the Cleveland Clinic:
Top surgery, in which a surgeon either removes a person’s breast tissue for a more traditionally masculine appearance or shapes a person’s breast tissue for a more traditionally feminine appearance.
Bottom surgery, or the reconstruction of the genitals to better align with a person’s gender identity.
Facial feminization or masculinization surgery, in which the bones and soft tissue of a person’s face are transformed for either a more traditionally masculine or feminine appearance.
Some people who undergo gender-affirming surgeries also use specific hormone therapies. A trans woman or nonbinary person on feminizing hormone therapy, for example, takes estrogen that’s paired with a substance that blocks testosterone. And a trans man or nonbinary person on masculinizing hormone therapy takes testosterone.
Gender-affirming surgeries and treatments are the recommended course of treatment for gender dysphoria by the American Medical Association. Gender dysphoria is defined as “clinically significant distress or impairment related to gender incongruence, which may include desire to change primary and/or secondary sex characteristics,” according to the American Psychiatric Association.
Some LGBTQ+ advocates and medical professionals feel that gender dysphoria shouldn’t be treated as a mental disorder, and worry that gender dysphoria’s inclusion in the DSM-5 — the authoritative source on recognized mental health disorders for the psychiatric industry — stigmatizes trans and nonbinary people.
How much does gender-affirming surgery cost?
Gender-affirming surgery can cost between $6,900 and $63,400 depending on the precise procedure, according to a 2022 study published in The Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics.
Out-of-pocket costs can vary dramatically, though, depending on whether you have insurance and whether your insurance company covers gender-affirming surgeries.
There are also costs associated with the surgery that may not be represented in these estimates. Additional costs may include:
The cost of psychiatric care or therapy, as most insurance companies and surgeons require at least one referral letter prior to the surgery. An hour of therapy can cost between $65 and $250, according to Good Therapy, an online platform for therapists and counselors.
Time off work. After bottom surgery, you can expect to miss six weeks of work while recovering. Most people miss around two weeks of work after top surgery.
Miscellaneous goods that’ll help you recover. For example, after bottom surgery, you might need to invest in a shower stool, waterproof bed sheets, cheap underwear and sanitary towels. Top surgery patients may need, depending on the procedure, a mastectomy pillow, chest binder and baggy clothes.
Is gender-affirming surgery covered by insurance?
It’s illegal for any federally funded health insurance program to deny coverage on the basis of gender identity, sexual orientation or sexual characteristics, per Section 1557, a section of the Affordable Care Act. Section 1557 doesn’t apply to private insurance companies, though, and several U.S. states have passed laws banning gender-affirming care.
The following states have banned gender-affirming surgery for people under 18 years old, according to the Human Rights Campaign: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia. In four of these states — Alabama, Arkansas, Florida and Indiana — court injunctions are currently ensuring access to care.
And these states have either passed laws — or have governors who issued executive orders — protecting access to gender-affirming surgery, according to the Movement Advancement Project, a public policy nonprofit: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Vermont and Washington, D.C.
But even if your state has enshrined protections for gender-affirming care, some private insurance companies may consider surgeries “cosmetic” and therefore “not medically necessary,” according to the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund. If you have private insurance or are insured through your employer, contact your insurance company and see if they cover gender-affirming care. Also, ask about any documentation the insurance company requires for coverage.
The Williams Institute estimates that 14% of trans Americans currently enrolled in Medicaid live in states where such coverage is banned, while another 27% of trans Americans live in states where coverage is “uncertain,” because their state laws are “silent or unclear on coverage for gender-affirming care.”
Because of Section 1557, Medicaid is federally banned from denying coverage on the basis of sex or gender; among the roughly 1.3 million transgender Americans, around 276,000 have Medicaid coverage, according to a 2022 report from the Williams Institute.
How to pay for gender-affirming surgery
If your private insurance company won’t cover gender-affirming care, and you’re unable to obtain coverage through the federal marketplace, consider these sources:
There are also several nonprofits that offer financial assistance for gender-affirmation surgeries. Those organizations include:
Point of Pride, which offers grants and scholarships to trans and nonbinary people seeking gender-affirming surgery and care.
Genderbands, which offers grants for gender-affirming surgeries and care.
Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations.
The average household credit card debt in America is $9,654, and the states with the largest amount of credit card debt are Alaska, Hawaii, and New Jersey.
Between the first quarters of 2022 and 2023, The Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported that the credit card debt in America rose by $145 billion. As of June 2023, we saw a 12-month inflation increase of 3%, the smallest year-over-year increase since March 2021.
By understanding American credit card debt statistics, you’ll better understand where you stand and what you can do to potentially lower your debt. Credit card debt increases your credit utilization ratio, which can hurt your credit and ultimately cost you more money in interest.
We surveyed over 1,100 Americans to learn more about credit card debt statistics in the United States. This data covers the average debt by state, average interest rates, and more. While many of the statistics from our other sources look at the situation as a whole, our data helps us see what’s happening on an individual level.
Despite the national average of Americans having over $9,000 in credit card debt per household, only 14% say they’re “very worried” about their debt.
67% of respondents said they have less than $2,000 in debt, which may indicate that only a concentrated number of people have high amounts of credit card debt.
20% of respondents don’t know how long they’ve been in debt.
The majority of respondents (56%) say their credit card debt is due to unexpected expenses.
74% of respondents said at least one collection agency has contacted them about a past due debt.
In this article, we’ll also provide tips on how to get out of debt and work toward better credit.
Table of contents:
Key Credit Card Debt Statistics
Many factors play into credit card debt, such as the average interest rates, which cards have the best offers, and the balance people carry on their card. These statistics will help you compare your own credit card balance to the national average and see if you’re getting a good deal with your current cards.
Here are the standout findings of various debt statistics:
The average American household has over $9,000 in credit card debt. (WalletHub)
Mississippi has the least credit card debt at $5,259 per person. (Credit Karma)
Alaska has the most credit card debt on average at $8,139. (Credit Karma)
Credit cards 90 days or more past due rose to 4.57% in 2023. (FRBNY)
Individuals making $184,000 or more per year have the most credit card debt at an average of $12,600. (Federal Reserve)
The total credit card debt in America as of Q3 2022 was $910 billion. (Experian®)
How Many Credit Cards Carry a Balance
The American Bankers Association releases a quarterly report for consumer credit conditions, and the most recent data comes from the third quarter of 2022.
In America, approximately 43% of credit cards carried a balance, 23% were dormant, and 34% were used but paid off each month. Those who pay off their credit card balance are able to keep a low credit utilization ratio and prevent the accumulation of debt.
Tip: Use our credit card payoff calculator to estimate when you’ll be debt free.
Average Interest Rates for New Credit Card Offers
LendingTree analyzed the terms and conditions of 200 credit cards from upwards of 50 different credit card companies, banks, and credit unions. With this data, they were able to gather an assortment of information involving annual percentage rates (APR).
The APR is the amount of interest consumers pay for their purchases, and the following table is broken down by credit card type.
The following table is based on data from July 2023.
Average Credit Card Debt by State
In February 2023, Credit Karma gathered data from 74 million of their members to see which states had the most and least amount of credit card debt. Below, we’ve compiled a complete list based on Credit Karma’s data that contains the average credit card debt for each of the 50 states alphabetically.
Top 10 States With the Most Credit Card Debt
The following states had the most credit card debt, with Alaska having the highest average credit card debt in America at $8,139 per person.
Average credit card debt
Top 10 States With the Least Credit Card Debt
The major credit bureau, Experian, tracks credit card debt data as well and found that between 2021 and 2022, overall credit card debt in the U.S. increased from $785 billion to $910 billion—a 16% increase. The average debt also increased in many states, according to Credit Karma’s report.
Average credit card debt
Average Credit Card Debt by Age
Credit Karma’s report with the state-by-state data also broke down credit card debt by age group. Currently, Generation X carries the most credit card debt, while Generation Z carries the least.
Average credit card debt
11-26 (Generation Z)
41-58 (Generation X)
59-77 (Baby Boomers)
78-95 (Silent Generation)
Average Credit Card Debt by Income
The following data comes from the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) and was most recently updated in 2019. The Federal Reserve completed a new survey at the end of 2022 and will have updated data later in 2023.
As you’ll see, higher-income individuals have much more credit card debt than those who make less. This makes sense because high-income individuals are able to get much larger credit lines. But when you look at the debt-to-income ratio, lower-income households have much more consumer debt compared to the amount of money they make.
Percentile of Income
Average credit card debt
Less than 20%
Average Household Credit Card Debt
A recent study from WalletHub found that while total credit card debt in the United States rose 14.1% between 2022 and 2023, household credit card debt only rose by 8.39%.
Their data shows that the average household credit card debt at the end of the first quarter in 2023 was $9,654 adjusted for inflation, which is $738 higher than the same time the previous year. WalletHub’s chart goes back to 1986, and the highest household credit card debt was in 2007 when it was $12,221 on average per household.
Average Credit Card Debt by Race or Ethnicity
Research from Annuity.org shows that Black and Hispanic Americans are less likely to feel financially stable and less likely to have a bank account. This information can help us better understand what’s happening in the financial lives of different communities.
This data comes from the Federal Reserve’s 2019 SCF.
Average credit card debt
Black or African American (non-Hispanic)
Hispanic or Latino
Other or multiple races
Credit Card Delinquency Rates in America
When someone is at least 30 days past due on their credit card payment, their status becomes delinquent. The number of delinquencies in the United States can be a measure of people’s ability to pay down their credit card debt.
To track this data, Experian conducted a study between 2021 and 2022:
Accounts 30 to 59 days past due increased from 1.04% of total accounts to 1.67%.
The delinquency rate of accounts 60 to 89 days past due increased to 1.01%.
Accounts 90 to 180 days past due rose to 0.63%.
How to Get Out of Credit Card Debt and Improve Your Credit
Credit card debt in America is something many individuals struggle with, and when your debt isn’t under control, it can affect your credit. A lower credit score leads to higher interest rates, which means you’re paying more for your purchases. It can also lead to being denied new credit lines.
Here are some simple steps you can take to start getting out of debt sooner rather than later:
Reduce additional credit card spending: You don’t want to add to your current debt if you don’t have to.
Create a budget: Cutting your spending can help you save additional funds to pay down your debt.
Use the snowball method: Each month, pay off your smallest debt in full. This can help you build momentum as you chip away at your overall debt.
Try debt consolidation: Consolidating your debt may help reduce the interest rate and keep your debt in one place rather than with different creditors.
Get a balance transfer card: Balance transfer cards allow you to transfer credit card debt to a different account, which may have a lower interest rate and will also help you consolidate your debt.
If you need help getting your debt under control and improving your credit, Credit.com has resources to help you learn to better manage your finances. To begin managing your credit, sign up for a free credit report card and check out ExtraCredit®. Our services can help you learn how to work on your credit and educate you about managing your finances so you know how to work toward the life you want.
Methodology for Credit.com data: This survey was conducted for Credit.com using Suzy. The sample consisted of a total of 1,154 responses per question and is statistically representative of the general population. This survey was conducted in December 2022.
On average, homeowners insurance in the United States is $1,424 annually and about $118 per month. This price varies based on the state you live in, along with other factors like previous home insurance claims, credit score, and the age of your home.
If you’re buying a home, there are a lot of cost considerations, from the monthly closing costs to the mortgage payments and interest rate. One factor many people often overlook is the additional cost of home insurance. To properly budget for your new dream home, it’s helpful to know the average cost of home insurance in your state.
Today, we’ll go over the average insurance cost for each state, which companies have the best rates, and what factors can affect your rates. By learning more about home insurance, you can find the best deals to save money and enjoy the experience of moving into your new home. If you’re considering moving to a new state, this information may also help influence your decision.
Table of contents:
Homeowners Insurance Facts
The cost of your homeowners insurance is affected by various factors. The cost of homeowners insurance can vary by state because some states are more prone to natural disasters than others. For example, Florida is more prone to hurricanes than other states, so the average cost is higher than in a state like Nevada.
As you’ll learn, homeowners insurance can range from less than $1,000 to over $3,000 per year. Here are some key facts about homeowners insurance in the United States:
The average annual cost of homeowner’s insurance in the United States is $1,424.
The state with the cheapest homeowners insurance at $382 per year is Hawaii.
Oklahoma has the highest homeowners insurance rates, averaging $3,659 annually.
Portland, Oregon, is the most populous city with the lowest average annual insurance rate at $686 per year.
People with a credit score of 740 or higher have the lowest average insurance rates at roughly $1,207 per year.
Average Cost of Home Insurance by State
The overall average cost of home insurance in the United States is $1,424 annually or $118 per month.
The following chart and table show the average cost of home insurance for each state and includes Washington, D.C. These prices are based on $250,000 for dwelling coverage.
Top 5 States With the Cheapest Homeowners Insurance Rates
Hawaii has the lowest annual rate of $382 per year, which is 73% lower than the national average. Vermont, Delaware, Utah, and Oregon are also in the top five states with the lowest homeowners insurance rates, and each is close to 50% lower or more than the national average.
Hawaii: $382 per year
Vermont: $658 per year
Delaware: $679 per year
Utah: $696 per year
Oregon: $723 per year
Top 5 states With the Most Expensive Homeowners Insurance Rates
The states with the most expensive homeowners insurance rates in the country are Oklahoma and Kansas at $3,659 per year and $3,083 per year respectively. Some of the other states with the highest rates include Nebraska, Colorado, and Arkansas.
According to Insurance.com, these states have high rates because they’re more likely to experience tornadoes, hurricanes, hailstorms, and other natural disasters.
Oklahoma: $3,659 per year
Kansas: $3,083 per year
Nebraska: $2,951 per year
Colorado: $2,152 per year
Arkansas: $2,123 per year
Average Cost of Homeowners Insurance by City
The city you live in may also determine the cost of your homeowners insurance rates. In addition to the possibility of natural disasters, population, crime statistics, and local materials and labor costs are also factors.
The following cities are the 25 largest cities in the United States, organized alphabetically. The table includes their average annual and monthly rates.
How Much Does Homeowners Insurance Cost by Company?
As with all forms of insurance, it’s typically a good idea to shop around for the best rates. Your rates may change depending on the provider based on the size of your home, claim history, and additional factors. And keep in mind that the level of coverage will also change the cost of your insurance premiums.
The following table shows 11 of the country’s most popular homeowners insurance providers sorted by annual rates.
4 Factors That Can Affect Homeowners Insurance Rates
Outside of your home’s location, some other factors can determine the cost of homeowners insurance. We’ve listed four of the most common factors that could affect your insurance rates.
1. Credit Score
Some states may look at your credit score to help determine your rates. Your credit score may be a factor because a low credit score or bad credit history can be considered a risk factor.
There are some exceptions. According to Experian®, states like California, Hawaii, Maryland, and Massachusetts prohibit using credit scores as a determining factor for insurance rates.
Average Annual Rate:
2. Claims History
Similar to automotive insurance rates, if you have an extensive history of home insurance claims, this can raise the price of your rates. Although you have less control over the damage that may happen to your home, insurance companies require higher premiums to help cover the costs of damages or injuries.
This table shows what types of claims may raise your rate based on the average amount paid out for the claim. The average payouts are taken from the Insurance Information Institute’s research for dwellings with $250,000 in coverage.
Type of Claim
Average Dollar Amount of Claim Paid Out
Average Annual Rate After a Claim
3. Deductible Amount
Your deductible is another factor to consider. Some people opt for a higher deductible because it lowers their rate. Should something happen to your home, you’ll have a higher out-of-pocket expense due to that higher deductible. This is helpful to remember as you budget around your home insurance costs.
Another consideration is that while you may save money while paying for your homeowners insurance, you may face financial hardships should you need to file a claim.
Average Annual Rate
4. Age of Home
If you own an older home, it may be more expensive to repair the home if it’s damaged. Older homes typically have higher rates due to these higher costs for repairs. The repairs are often more expensive, and the contractors may need to bring the home up to the most current building and safety codes. The first year of recorded data was in 1959.
What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover?
Knowing what your homeowners insurance policy covers can help you better prepare for situations when you might need to use it. With a better understanding of what is and isn’t covered, you can protect yourself from the potential of financial losses if you need to file a claim.
Depending on which insurance provider you choose, they may offer some or all of the following coverages.
Dwelling coverage: The averages listed throughout this post are based on the dwelling coverage of $250,000, which means the insurance will cover up to $250,000 in repairs. Should you get a policy with a higher dwelling coverage amount, more repairs will be covered.
Additional structures: Basic dwelling coverage covers damages to your home, but if you have other structures like a guest house, shed, or detached garage, you’ll need this extra coverage. This coverage is often 10–20% of the dwelling coverage’s limit.
Medical payments: If someone who doesn’t live in your home gets injured on your property, you can get coverage for their medical payments. Medical payment coverage usually ranges from $1,000 to $5,000 of coverage.
Personal liability: Personal liability coverage can be between $100,000 and $500,000, which is for property damage to someone else’s property or if you’re legally liable for injuries on your property. Personal liability coverage may also cover legal fees if someone were to sue you after being injured.
Loss of use: If your home gets damaged to the point where you cannot live there until the repairs are done, this coverage will help cover living expenses. Loss of use coverage can range from 10% to 30% of dwelling coverage.
Personal property: Ranging from 50% to 75% of your dwelling coverage, this provides coverage for the personal property in your home, like clothing, furniture, and electronics. If you have this coverage, be sure to read the details because it may have a max limit of coverage on certain types of items.
What Characteristics Affect Homeowners Insurance?
Earlier, we went over different factors that can affect your homeowners insurance, like your credit score and history of claims. Home and location characteristics may also give you lower or higher rates.
Various characteristics of your home and how it’s built may make it more at risk for damage. As with other forms of insurance, if there are higher risks, they can increase your rates.
One of the common characteristics affecting your rates is the condition of your roof. Your roof is a primary part of your home that protects the inside of your home. If you have an older roof that may not withstand harsh weather or is made from poor materials, you may have to pay a higher insurance rate.
Some insurance providers may also have higher rates for special features. Some of these include having a pool, hot tub, sauna, or any other feature that may cause an injury.
Earlier, you learned how the average home insurance cost varies from state to state, and much of this has to do with the area’s characteristics. In addition to weather risks, home insurance rates are often higher in areas prone to wildfires. Some insurance providers calculate risk based on how close the home is to fire stations and fire hydrants.
Another location characteristic that home insurance providers look at is crime rates. Home insurance policies may have theft coverage, but in higher crime areas, the rates will be higher due to a higher likelihood of break-ins. Sometimes, you can lower your insurance rates by installing security measures like cameras and alarms.
8 Ways to Lower the Cost of Your Homeowners Insurance
Your mortgage is the primary expense for your home, and it’s important to factor in the cost of your homeowners insurance as well for budgeting purposes. Fortunately, there are ways to lower your homeowners insurance through different methods. Here, we’ve listed different ways you can get better rates for your home insurance.
Improve your credit score: Many states allow insurance providers to use your credit score as a factor. By improving your score, you can likely lower your rates.
Bundle your policies: You may be able to bundle your home and car insurance for a better price on both.
Do some renovations: An old roof or out-of-date parts of your home may increase your rate, so it might be worth it to do some renovations.
Opt for the higher deductible: Although you’ll have to pay more when you file a claim, a higher-deductible policy can save you on your annual rate.
Compare insurance quotes: There are many different homeowners insurance providers, so it may be helpful to shop around to find the best price.
Try an independent agent: You don’t have to work with an insurance company directly. Some independent agents are licensed insurance professionals who can offer you a good deal.
Get the right coverage: Educate yourself about what coverages you need and which you don’t. Some people may pay for coverage they won’t need to use.
Check for discounts: There are a variety of discounts you could get in addition to bundling your policies. Your provider may offer a loyalty discount, an alarm system discount, or a claims-free discount.
The primary source of this data comes from Bankrate. To conduct their analysis, Bankrate uses the data provided by Quadrant Information Services. The data comes from various insurance providers across all 50 states as well as Washington, D.C., for 2023.
The average rates use the following base insurance profile:
Homeowner: Male, 40 years of age
Dwelling coverage: $250,000
Personal property coverage: $125,000
Liability coverage: $300,000
Loss of use coverage: $50,000
Medical payments coverage: $1,000
Repair Your Credit Before Getting Homeowners Insurance
Depending on your state, your credit score may play a significant role in your homeowners insurance rates. By improving your credit score, not only can you potentially save on your home insurance rates, but your credit score can also help you when purchasing or refinancing your home.
Credit.com offers a free credit report card that provides you with an analysis of your credit health. You can also utilize our ExtraCredit® subscription for additional credit reporting and other services.
Your credit score communicates with lenders your level of credit trustworthiness. As a result, those with higher credit scores qualify for higher credit limits and better interest rates. Your credit score will play a major role if you plan to purchase a house or apply for a loan in the future.
Understanding credit scores and what they mean can improve your financial literacy. We gathered the following credit score statistics to help you get a better sense of where your credit score stands compared to other Americans.
The national average FICO® Score is 716 as of April 2022 (FICO)
About 10% of the U.S. population doesn’t have a credit record and are “credit invisible.” (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau)
Ages 76 and up have the highest average credit score at 760. (American Express)
Women’s and men’s average FICO Scores are virtually the same. (Experian)
Average U.S. credit score
The national average FICO Score is 716 as of April 2022. This is the same as when FICO last reported on it a year ago.
Average credit score by state
While your location doesn’t affect your credit score, some states have a higher average credit score than others as seen in the statistics listed below.
While 31 states (and the District of Columbia) have average FICO scores that are higher than the national average of 716, the upper Midwest and New England continue to have the best average FICO Scores. (FICO)
Minnesota, Vermont, New Hampshire and Wisconsin all have scores that are 23 points higher than the national average, with scores of 742, 739 and 737, respectively. (FICO)
Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama and Arkansas have the lowest credit scores at 662, 668, 672 and 673, respectively. (WalletHub)
Average credit score by age
Since credit history length is a factor that influences your credit score, it makes sense that the average credit score increases with age as seen below.
Approximately 58% of consumers with the highest credit score are between the ages of 56 and 74. (Money Geek)
The average score for adults aged 18 to 29 increased by 24 points between April 2017 and April 2022; 19 points for those aged 30 to 39; 19 points for those aged 40 to 49; 13 points for individuals in their 50s; and 10 points for those aged 60 and older. (Nerd Wallet)
As of 2021, ages 18-24 have the lowest average credit score at 679. (American Express)
Ages 76 and up have the highest average credit score at 760. (American Express)
Average credit score by race
Average credit scores can differ across demographics like race. However, keep in mind that race doesn’t directly influence your credit score.
Average credit score by gender
Although women couldn’t legally apply for credit until 1974, women’s and men’s average FICO Scores are still very close in range at 705 for men and 704 for women as of 2019, according to Experian.
Average credit score by income
A common credit score myth is that your income contributes to your credit score. Although this is untrue, the statistics below show a correlation between income and credit score.
Approximately 25% of low-income consumers don’t have enough knowledge to raise their credit scores. (Consumer Federation of America)
The median credit score of 658 for lower income individuals suggests that many borrowers are unlikely to have access to affordable credit as those with scores above 720. (Federal Reserve Bank of New York)
Those considered high income have the highest average credit score at 774. (American Express)
Average FICO Score in the U.S.
FICO is an analytics firm that developed the credit scoring models used today. The national average FICO Score is 716 as of April 2022, the same as when FICO last reported on it a year ago. Here are some FICO statistics.
Average FICO Score by generation
The Silent Generation (ages 77 and up) has the highest average credit score at 760. (Experian)
The average credit score of baby boomers (ages 58-76) is 742 in 2022, up two points from 2021. (Experian)
Generation X (ages 42-57) has an average credit score of 706. (Experian)
The average credit score of Millennials (ages 26-41) is 687. (Experian)
Generation Z (ages 18-25) has an average credit score of 679 in 2022, the same as 2021. (Experian)
Average credit score (2022)
Average VantageScore in the U.S.
VantageScore is the second most popular credit scoring model in the U.S. As of September 2022, the average VantageScore was 697.
Credit card utilization statistics
Credit utilization refers to the amount of your available credit you’re currently using. Your credit utilization ratio is calculated by adding up your balances and then dividing by the total of your credit limits. Keeping your credit utilization ratio low can help raise your score.
Individuals with credit scores 800 to 850 have an average credit utilization ratio of 5.7%. (Experian)
Consumers with credit scores considered “very good” (740-799) have an average utilization ratio of 12.4%. (Experian)
Those with credit scores in the “good” range (670-739) have an average credit utilization ratio of 32.6 %. (Experian)
47.6% of the population opened at least one new credit account in the last year. (FICO)
Approximately 26 million U.S. adults, or 10%, don’t have a credit record and are “credit invisible.” (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau)
19 million Americans have a credit history but lack a credit score because their report is insufficient or out of date. (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau)
The 15% growth in credit card balances from 2021 to 2022 is the highest in more than 20 years. (Federal Reserve Bank of New York)
Currently, 83% of American people own at least one credit card. (Zippia)
There are currently 26.5% more credit card holders in 2022 than there were in 2017—just five years ago. (Zippia)
Whether you’re new to credit or just need a refresher, we’ve answered some common questions about credit scores below.
What is a good credit score?
According to FICO, a good credit score is 670-739 or above, while a very good credit score is 740-799. A credit score that is 800 or above is considered exceptional.
How to check your credit score
To check your credit score, order a free copy of your credit report from each of the three credit bureaus. You can also check your credit score for free by visiting Credit.com.
What contributes to your credit score?
The factors that contribute to your credit score are payment history, amounts owed, credit history length, credit mix, and new credit.
What is the highest credit score?
The highest credit score is 850 for most FICO and VantageScore models.
How to work on your credit score
You can see from the above credit score statistics that everyone’s credit varies. If you checked your credit score and it’s currently low, we have resources available to help educate you about your credit so that you can qualify for the best rates available.