What Hurts a Home Appraisal?

What Hurts a Home Appraisal?

The main factors that can hurt a home appraisal include needed updates, comparable properties, market conditions, your home’s location, and whether you hired an inspector to flag issues or necessary repairs. By getting ahead of the factors within your control before an appraisal, you may get a more favorable answer to the all-important question of what your house is really worth.

The more you know and understand about the home appraisal process, the better. Here’s a crash course of sorts on the process and what negatively affects home appraisal.

Recommended: Should I Sell My House Now or Wait?

A Primer on Home Appraisals

A home appraisal reveals the fair market value of a home, which is important whether you’re buying, selling or refinancing a mortgage. An appraisal can also be used to determine property taxes. Lenders require appraisals because they ensure that the lender won’t offer you a loan that’s more than what the home is appraised value is worth.

So, what do appraisers look for when they do a home appraisal? A real estate appraiser, who is a third party licensed or certified by the state, will review a home inside and out, looking at a home’s age, size, foundation, appliances and neighborhood, among other things. They will then compare the house to similar homes in the area to assess its value.

An appraisal is usually required by a lender when a buyer is getting a mortgage or when someone is refinancing their mortgage. If an appraisal is for a home sale, neither the buyer nor the homeowner can be present. When someone is refinancing, on the other hand, the homeowner is permitted to attend. That no doubt is a plus as it’s an opportunity for the homeowner to ensure the appraiser takes note of any upgrades and new features that could increase their home’s worth.

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Things That Can Hurt Your Home Appraisal

Much hinges on the home’s appraisal itself, so you’ll want it to go as smoothly as possible. Start by knowing what hurts a home appraisal so you can avoid any hiccups that could prevent you from getting the highest value for your home.

1. Much-Needed Updates That Never Happened

If you’ve been putting off any needed upgrades, this is when it could come back to bite you. Let’s say you’ve been meaning to renovate your kitchen and somehow just didn’t get around to it. A kitchen that looks pretty much like it did 30 years ago isn’t going to wow anybody, least of all an appraiser who will wonder what else is in decline.

While it can be helpful to take care of some common home upgrades that can net you a return on your investment, you don’t necessarily want to go crazy updating either. Not only could it be tougher to recoup all the money you put into home improvements, you may find that while you love the changes you’ve made, your taste may not have universal appeal. It’s a delicate balance to make upgrades that will get two thumbs up from the appraiser and the potential buyers.

2. Comparable Properties

When it comes to housing, you do kind of have to keep up with the Joneses. With appraisals, it’s all about sales of comparable homes over the last 12 months. What are homes similar to yours on your street or a few blocks over selling for? If they are getting top dollar that will push up the price of your home. On the flip side, if those homes are hanging around on the market for months and selling at prices below expected, that could put a drag on what you can get for yours.

Comparable sales help determine the market, which is why both your real estate and your appraiser will look at them. Ideally, the appraiser, as much as possible, is comparing apples to apples so you get a fair appraisal. The other properties should be similar in size, age and amenities, among other factors. It’s a losing proposition for you if the appraiser goes for the extreme, say a house that sold at a bargain because someone was in a hurry to bail for whatever reason.

3. Skipping a Home Inspection

When it comes to your house, ignorance is not bliss. While you may know when you need to make a repair to a leaky roof, for instance, there can be plenty wrong that’s not obvious to you. That’s why it’s a good idea to have a home inspection before you put your house on the market.

A home inspector can suss out all manner of malfunctions that could be plaguing your house, particularly things you may be clueless about. If you get bad news, think of it as good news since you’ll now have the opportunity to make necessary home repairs before you put your house on the market and an appraiser comes with a magnifying glass of sorts looking for signs of trouble.

4. An Undesirable Location

Few things matter more in real estate market than location. If you’re in a neighborhood that’s seen as flawed or your house is on a busy or noisy street, that could all come into play when it comes to the value of your property.

Location also counts within your home. If your layout is dated — say it’s old-fashioned and highly compartmentalized instead of today’s more in-demand open layout concepts — that could be less attractive to buyers. Or, they might only be interested in knocking down walls and reconfiguring the space, which likely means they’ll want to pay less for the house if they are going to have put money into it to bring it in line with what they’re looking for.

4 Ways to Prevent Low Home Appraisals

Just like there are some things you can get out ahead of before they hurt your home appraisal, there are also some moves you can make to prevent your home appraisal coming in lower than you’d like.

1.   Hire your own appraiser: Typically, the lender hires the appraiser. However, there’s no reason you can’t hire your own appraiser before the sale. Your realtor should have a handle on someone who is experienced and has a reputation for giving fair estimates. You then can ask the buyer or lender’s appraiser to review what your appraiser produced.

2.   Provide records: If you have records of repairs and upgrades that’s the kind of proof that works in your favor. It also doesn’t hurt to have documentation like photos — before and afters aren’t just for an Instagram post of your new haircut.

3.   Prepare for the appraiser’s visit: Don’t dismiss the importance of maintaining curb appeal. Your home should be clean inside and outside before the appraiser comes over. Strive to get as close to an interior design catalog as you can.

4.   Dig up property comparables on your own: You don’t have to leave it to the appraiser and real estate agents to do all the homework. Go the extra mile and consider calling real estate agents with homes in escrow to get the sales prices. Create a list that you can pass along to the appraiser.

Checking Your Home Value Without an Appraisal

You can get a sense of what your home is worth even if you don’t get an appraisal. There are several websites that can give you valuable insight into your home’s potential value, including Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, Realtor.com and Eppraisal, among others.

Another option is to use a house price index (HPI) calculator , which relies on data from mortgage transactions over time to estimate a home’s value. Projections are based on both the purchase price of the home and the changing value of other homes nearby. This tool can help you see how much a house has appreciated over time. You’ll also get a glimpse of estimated future changes in mortgage rates.

Recommended: Does Net Worth Include Home Equity?

The Takeaway

Because appraisal value of your home is likely your biggest asset, it’s worth putting the time and effort into the appraisal process. The payoff could be huge if you tend to the major factors that hurt an appraisal or get proactive about preventing a low appraisal.

If you’re worried about budgeting for any necessary updates or repairs, a tool like SoFi can help you track your spending in different categories.

Stay on top of your budget as you get your house appraisal ready.

Photo credit: iStock/ucpage


External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

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.

SoFi Relay offers users the ability to connect both SoFi accounts and external accounts using Plaid, Inc.’s service. When you use the service to connect an account, you authorize SoFi to obtain account information from any external accounts as set forth in SoFi’s Terms of Use. Based on your consent SoFi will also automatically provide some financial data received from the credit bureau for your visibility, without the need of you connecting additional accounts. SoFi assumes no responsibility for the timeliness, accuracy, deletion, non-delivery or failure to store any user data, loss of user data, communications, or personalization settings. You shall confirm the accuracy of Plaid data through sources independent of SoFi. The credit score is a VantageScore® based on TransUnion® (the “Processing Agent”) data.

*Terms and conditions apply. This offer is only available to new SoFi users without existing SoFi accounts. It is non-transferable. One offer per person. To receive the rewards points offer, you must successfully complete setting up Credit Score Monitoring. Rewards points may only be redeemed towards active SoFi accounts, such as your SoFi Checking or Savings account, subject to program terms that may be found here: SoFi Member Rewards Terms and Conditions. SoFi reserves the right to modify or discontinue this offer at any time without notice.

Disclaimer: Many factors affect your credit scores and the interest rates you may receive. SoFi is not a Credit Repair Organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. SoFi does not provide “credit repair” services or advice or assistance regarding “rebuilding” or “improving” your credit record, credit history, or credit rating. For details, see the FTC’s website .

Checking Your Rates: To check the rates and terms you may qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and may affect your credit.

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What Is the Average Pay in the United States Per Year?

Whether you’re deciding on a new career path or wondering whether you’re being paid enough, it can help to know what the typical American worker earns per year.

Based on the latest data available from the Social Security Administration (SSA), the average annual pay in the U.S. in 2021 was $60,575 — an 8.89% jump from the previous year. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates the average worker made closer to $67,610 that same year. The amount you make may depend on a number of factors, including your occupation, where you live, your gender, and your level of education.

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Key Findings

Let’s take a closer look at how the average annual pay in the U.S. has changed over a three-year period based on data from both the SSA and BLS.

Year

Average Annual Salary per SSA

Average Annual Salary per BLS

2019 $54,099.99 $59,209
2020 $55,628.60 $64,021
2021 $60,575.07 $67,610

It can also be helpful to look at median earnings, which represent the midpoint of salaries in the U.S. In other words, half of the salaries fall below the median, and half are higher than the median.

The following table shows the median annual salary for a three-year period.

Year

Median Annual Salary

2022 $54,132
2021 $51,896
2020 $51,168

Source: BLS

As you can see, average and median incomes have risen each year. However, average salaries can be affected by various factors such as your occupation, age, and gender. Note that the numbers above also don’t include unearned income.

Examples of High-Salary Jobs in the US

Some industries tend to pay more than others, which means the career you choose may affect how much you earn. Here’s a sampling of high-paying jobs and their average annual salary, according to the BLS:

•   Cardiologist, $353,970 per year

•   Dentist, $177,770

•   Aircraft pilots and flight engineer, $169,540

•   Lawyer and judicial law clerk, $146,220

•   Public relations manager, $138,000

•   Air traffic controller, $127,920

Recommended: How to Reduce Taxable Income for High Earners

Average American Income by Occupation

While salaries tend to vary based on geography, seeing how much certain types of jobs pay can be informative. Let’s take a look at different occupations and how much they typically pay.

Occupation (Type)

Average annual salary

Management $123,370
Legal $113,100
Computer and Mathematical Operations $99,860
Architecture and Engineering $91,740
Healthcare Practitioners and Technical $91,100
Business and Financial Operations $82,610
Life, Physical, and Social Science $80,730
Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media $66,100
Educational Instruction and Library $62,140
Construction and Extraction $55,900
Community and Social Service $53,960
Protective Service $53,420
Installation, Maintenance, and Repair $53,380
Sales (and Related) $46,080
Office and Administrative Support $43,430
Transportation and Material Moving $41,340
Farming, Fishing, and Forestry $34,730
Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance $33,750
Personal Care and Service $33,620
Healthcare support $33,330
Food Preparation and Serving Related $29,450

Source: BLS, May 2022 data

Keep in mind that average salaries may differ depending on the specific occupation you have. For example, although claims adjusters fall under the business and financial operations category, their average salary is around $70,960.

US Income by Gender

Demographics, specifically gender, are another factor to consider. By and large, men tend to outearn women throughout their career. The median annual salary for a 16- to 24-year-old man is $33,800; a woman of the same age earns $31,460, per the latest data available from the BLS. Likewise, the median annual salary for a man aged 25 and older is $60,320; a woman of the same age earns $49,608.

Median Income by State

Wages often vary based on where you live. In many cases, states with higher costs of living also have higher wages. For example, the median annual income in Hawaii is $100,532 — much higher than Mississippi’s median annual income of $61,205.

Below is the median income by state for a household of three people, according to data compiled by the Census Bureau between April 1 and May 14, 2022.

State

Median annual income

Alabama $70,250
Alaska $108,072
Arizona $79,110
Arkansas $70,169
California $97,092
Colorado $100,744
Connecticut $108,409
Delaware $96,841
District of Columbia $138,342
Florida $75,057
Georgia $79,980
Hawaii $100,532
Idaho $76,635
Illinois $97,067
Indiana $81,783
Iowa $85,758
Kansas $88,369
Kentucky $71,501
Louisiana $71,371
Maine $87,051
Maryland $113,994
Massachusetts $117,415
Michigan $84,245
Minnesota $106,445
Mississippi $61,205
Missouri $80,022
Montana $79,652
Nebraska $91,076
New Hampshire $113,013
Nevada $91,076
New Jersey $117,697
New Mexico $66,183
New York $96,854
North Carolina $76,386
North Dakota $94,950
Ohio $82,734
Oklahoma $71,397
Oregon $93,773
Pennsylvania $92,441
Rhode Island $101,104
South Carolina $75,128
South Dakota $87,475
Tennessee $75,394
Texas $80,733
Utah $90,629
Vermont $92,628
Virginia $102,869
Washington $104,644
West Virginia $71,757
Wisconsin $92,586
Wyoming $88,902

US Income by Race

As the BLS data below shows, there is often a pay disparity among workers of different races and ethnicities.

•   Asian, $69,056 per year

•   White, $52,936

•   Black or African American, $41,652

•   Hispanic or Latino, $40,404

How Does Your Income Stack Up?

Now that you’ve seen some of the average and median annual salaries by occupation, location, gender, and race or ethnicity, how does yours compare? If you’re not making as much as you’d like, you may want to research wages in your industry and region, and use that information to help you negotiate a higher salary. If you’re ready to make a bigger change, you can use this data as you consider whether to switch to a more lucrative field or relocate to a higher-paying region.

Recommended: How to Negotiate Your Signing Bonus

How to Stretch Your Income

Here are some different strategies to help you make the most of the money you make:

Track Your Spending

Understanding exactly where your money is going can help you keep tabs on where your money is going and identify areas where you can cut back. Consider using a spending app to track your spending and saving.

Negotiate Bills

Want to lower monthly expenses, such as your cell phone or internet services? Consider calling up various providers to see if you’re able to get a better deal or if there are promotions you can take advantage of.

Cut Back on Large Expenses

Housing, food, and transportation tend to be the largest line budget items. Explore ways to trim your biggest costs. Examples include refinancing your mortgage, negotiating your rent, shopping at discount grocery stores, and taking public transportation when possible.

Sharpen Your Marketable Skills

Accepting networking opportunities and taking professional development courses could help you become more marketable as an employee. This in turn could set you up to earn more in the long run. If you’re on a tight budget, look into no- or low-cost ways to cultivate high-income skills, and ask your employer if there are any free resources are available.

Pros and Cons of a High Salary

A high income can be great, but it does come with some downsides.

Pros:

•   Improved quality of life: With more money, you can afford a higher standard of living and be able to afford different amenities such as better access to healthcare and food.

•   Financial security: The more you earn, the more you can feel secure you have enough money to afford the things you want and need.

•   Ability to achieve financial goals faster: Having more disposable income could mean you can set more money aside for long- and short-term savings goals, like retirement or going on a family vacation.

Cons:

•   Higher taxes: Earning more can put you in a higher tax bracket. However, there are ways to reduce your taxable income.

•   Pressure to maintain income: If you’re accustomed to a certain living standard, you may feel like you need to keep earning the same amount or more to maintain it.

•   More work stress: In many cases, higher-paying jobs come with more responsibilities and at times, longer hours.

The Takeaway

Understanding what the average American worker makes in a year can come in handy, especially if you’re considering a new career path, negotiating a higher salary, or looking for a new place to live. According to the latest data from the Social Security Administration, the average annual pay in the U.S. is $60,575. But the amount you earn may depend on a wide range of factors, such as the industry you work in, where you live, your gender, and your race or ethnicity.

If you’re looking to make the most out of the money you earn, consider using a money tracker app. The SoFi app connects all of your accounts in one convenient dashboard. From there, you can see all of your balances, spending breakdowns, and credit score monitoring, plus you can get other valuable financial insights.

Stay up to date on your finances by seeing exactly how your money comes and goes.

FAQ

What is a good salary in the USA?

There’s no one set amount that would be considered a good salary in the U.S. However, the average salary is around $60,575, according to the Social Security Administration.

What is the real average wage in the US?

The average wage in the U.S. is $67,610 according to the most recent data available from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What is the top 10 percent income in the US?

According to the Economic Policy Institute, the top 10% of workers in the U.S. earn $133,482.

How much should you be making at 30?

While there is no definitive amount you should earn by the time you’re 30, the average salary for U.S. workers aged 25 to 34 is $52,832, according to statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.


Photo credit: iStock/VAKSMANV

SoFi Relay offers users the ability to connect both SoFi accounts and external accounts using Plaid, Inc.’s service. When you use the service to connect an account, you authorize SoFi to obtain account information from any external accounts as set forth in SoFi’s Terms of Use. Based on your consent SoFi will also automatically provide some financial data received from the credit bureau for your visibility, without the need of you connecting additional accounts. SoFi assumes no responsibility for the timeliness, accuracy, deletion, non-delivery or failure to store any user data, loss of user data, communications, or personalization settings. You shall confirm the accuracy of Plaid data through sources independent of SoFi. The credit score is a VantageScore® based on TransUnion® (the “Processing Agent”) data.

*Terms and conditions apply. This offer is only available to new SoFi users without existing SoFi accounts. It is non-transferable. One offer per person. To receive the rewards points offer, you must successfully complete setting up Credit Score Monitoring. Rewards points may only be redeemed towards active SoFi accounts, such as your SoFi Checking or Savings account, subject to program terms that may be found here: SoFi Member Rewards Terms and Conditions. SoFi reserves the right to modify or discontinue this offer at any time without notice.

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.

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How Often Does Your Credit Score Update?

Most businesses report information to the credit bureaus every 30 to 45 days. Each on-time payment you make may barely affect your score, while a missed payment can have a significant effect.

But how often does your credit score update? Let’s find that answer, and learn how to keep an eye on your credit history and credit score.

Recommended: How to Build Credit Over Time

When Do Credit Reports Update?

Whenever consumers take some sort of action relating to their credit, their score, usually a number between 300 and 850, will fluctuate.

For instance, if they apply for a loan or miss a credit card payment, their score could change.

There is no set date for a credit score update because a lender or creditor may send information to the three main credit bureaus at different times: Experian one day, Equifax five days after that, and TransUnion a week later.

An update, though, will occur at least every 45 days.

Rather than constantly checking for updates, you might want to focus on long-term goals like paying off debt, always sending payments on time, and ensuring that your scores are going in an upward direction.

Recommended: Which Credit Bureau Is Used Most?

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What Is a Good Credit Score?

Lenders most often use FICO® Score, but the credit bureaus introduced the VantageScore® in 2006 to provide a score that was more consistent among the three credit agencies.

This is how the FICO Score 8 and the latest VantageScore models break down:

FICO

VantageScore

Exceptional
800-850
Excellent
781-850
Very Good
740-799
Good
661-780
Good
670-739
Fair
601-660
Fair
580-669
Poor
500-600
Poor
300-579
Very Poor
300-499

People with high scores typically have access to higher lines of credit and lower interest rates. Those with low credit scores may not be approved for certain credit cards and loans. And if approved for, say, a mortgage, they will usually pay a much higher mortgage interest rate.

(That said, a conventional mortgage lender is free to set its own requirements when it comes to credit scores. Government-backed loans still have credit score requirements, even if they’re lower.)

How to Check a Credit Report

Under federal law, consumers are entitled to one free copy of their credit report every 12 months from each of the main credit reporting agencies, TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax.

AnnualCreditReport.com is the only authorized website for free credit reports, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

Consumers can also call 1-877-322-8228 and provide their name, address, Social Security number, and date of birth to verify their identity.

If you want to check your credit history more than once a year, you can ask one or all three credit reporting bureaus, for a small charge, for another copy.

Why check your credit report periodically? Mainly:

•   To make sure the information is accurate and up to date before you apply for a car or home loan, buy insurance, or apply for a job.
•   To help guard against identity theft.

Recommended: How To Read A Credit Report

How to Check a Credit Score

The free annual credit reports do not include your credit score — or more accurately, scores. Your credit score from each of the credit bureaus will vary based on the information each has. Lenders also use slightly different credit scores for different kinds of loans.

How to get your credit scores then? Here are a few ways:

•   Buy a score directly from the credit reporting companies or from myfico.com.
•   Look at a loan statement or a credit card statement. Some financial companies provide credit scores for customers as a perk.
•   Use a credit score checker. Some services give consumers access to their credit scores but charge for premium services like checking a score daily. Other sites may require that you sign up for a credit monitoring service with a monthly subscription fee in order to get your “free” score.
•   Sign up for an app like SoFi, which provides free weekly updates on your credit score and tracks all of your money in one place.

When signing up for credit score checking websites, it’s important for consumers to look at the terms of service and ensure they’re not being charged for premium services they do not want.

Also, it’s best to avoid an “educational” credit score vs. a score that a lender would use. For some, there will be a meaningful difference, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says.

What Makes Up a Credit Score?

Learning about what factors make up a credit score can help consumers raise their scores. Main factors that contribute to the score, in order:

•  Payment history (35-40%)
•  Credit utilization
•  Length of credit history
•  New credit
•  Credit mix

In terms of payment history, the most important factor when calculating a score, it’s critical to always repay debts on time.

The credit utilization ratio is the amount that is owed in relation to how much credit a person has overall. Keeping your credit utilization ratio below 30% is commonly recommended.

For the length of the credit history, consumers can increase their score by not closing cards. The longer someone’s credit history is, the better.

Applying for new credit cards and loans that require a hard inquiry into a credit report could bring down a score, even if the result is approval. However, if a score does go down, it shouldn’t take long for it to go back up. It’s multiple hard inquiries on a credit report in a short period that can cause damage. Then again, if someone is shopping for a mortgage or auto loan, both FICO and VantageScore account for multiple hard inquiries in a grace period of 14 to 45 days.

Credit mix refers to credit cards, student loans, auto loans, personal loans, and mortgages. By having a mix, consumers show that they can manage all kinds of debt.

Recommended: What Credit Score is Needed to Buy a Car

Why Credit Scores Matter

Having a high score can help consumers in a number of scenarios.

They will save money, and potentially a great deal of money if they gain access to lower interest rates.

The higher a score is, the more credit someone will be able to access as well.

Consumers can reach their financial goals quicker and utilize better products. For example, they may get approved for a credit card that offers perks like bonus travel rewards or a high cash-back rewards rate. They might also be able to use a card with a 0% introductory APR or 0% balance transfer rate for a certain period.

People with a high score may be able to rent a better apartment or home since landlords will check prospective tenants’ credit.

They may gain access to better car insurance rates and be able to avoid paying deposits to utility companies and cellphone providers.

Improving a credit score could take time, but it’s worth it because in the long run, consumers will save money and potentially reach their financial goals that much faster.

Recommended: Should I Sell My House Now or Wait

The Takeaway

How often does your credit score update? All the time, really, but once a month is a good barometer. You can order a free credit report every year, or you can see updates in your credit score for free or for a fee.

SoFi’s money-tracking tool offers a host of benefits at no charge:

•  Get weekly updates on your credit score.
•  See changes to key factors contributing to your credit score.
•  Link your checking, savings, investment, and retirement accounts as well as credit cards, student loans, and mortgages. Manually add an account or asset to see your entire net worth.

To take control of your credit score and financial future, sign up for SoFi today.



*Terms and conditions apply. This offer is only available to new SoFi users without existing SoFi accounts. It is non-transferable. One offer per person. To receive the rewards points offer, you must successfully complete setting up Credit Score Monitoring. Rewards points may only be redeemed towards active SoFi accounts, such as your SoFi Checking or Savings account, subject to program terms that may be found here: SoFi Member Rewards Terms and Conditions. SoFi reserves the right to modify or discontinue this offer at any time without notice.

SoFi Relay offers users the ability to connect both SoFi accounts and external accounts using Plaid, Inc.’s service. When you use the service to connect an account, you authorize SoFi to obtain account information from any external accounts as set forth in SoFi’s Terms of Use. Based on your consent SoFi will also automatically provide some financial data received from the credit bureau for your visibility, without the need of you connecting additional accounts. SoFi assumes no responsibility for the timeliness, accuracy, deletion, non-delivery or failure to store any user data, loss of user data, communications, or personalization settings. You shall confirm the accuracy of Plaid data through sources independent of SoFi. The credit score is a VantageScore® based on TransUnion® (the “Processing Agent”) data.

Disclaimer: Many factors affect your credit scores and the interest rates you may receive. SoFi is not a Credit Repair Organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. SoFi does not provide “credit repair” services or advice or assistance regarding “rebuilding” or “improving” your credit record, credit history, or credit rating. For details, see the FTC’s website .

Checking Your Rates: To check the rates and terms you may qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and may affect your credit.

External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.

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.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

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How the Average Cost Per Year of Raising a Child Has Changed Since the Early 2000s

Having children can be rewarding, but thanks to higher rates of inflation, it’s also getting more expensive. Today, parents can expect to spend around $310,000 to raise a child from birth up to age 17, according to a recent Brookings Institution analysis of data from the USDA.

If you’re considering growing your family, understanding all the costs involved can help you prepare financially. Let’s take a closer look at the average annual cost of raising a child in the U.S. and how that figure has changed over the past two decades.

What Is the Cost of Raising a Child in the US in 2022?

Adjusting for higher future inflation, the Brookings Institution estimates it costs $310,605 for a middle-class family to raise a child born in 2015 up to age 17. Of course, the amount you end up spending depends on a number of factors, including household income, the cost of childcare, and where you live.

If you want more personalized insights to help you plan your spending, consider using an online calculator.

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A Comparison of the Cost of Raising in Child in 2000 vs 2022

The average cost of raising a child in 2000 looked much different than it does now, thanks in large part to the recent surge in inflation rates.

In 2000, a typical middle-income family could expect to spend $165,630 to raise a child to the age of 17. In 2022, that same family would spend $310,605, according to the Brookings Institution analysis, which adjusted the USDA’s most recent estimates for higher expected future inflation. Note that this amount doesn’t include extras like summer camp or birthday parties, nor does it factor in the cost of college.

Top Expenses of Raising a Child in 2022

When it comes to the average cost of raising a child from birth to 17, middle-income families can expect to spend around $17,255 per year. The following table shows where that typically money goes.

Cost category

Average percent (%) of spending

Housing 29%
Food 18%
Child care and Education 16%
Transportation 15%
Healthcare 9%
Miscellaneous 7%
Clothing 6%

Source: USDA’s Expenditures on Children by Families, 2015

Top Expenses of Raising a Child in 2000

Average middle-income parents in 2000 spent around $9,201 per year on child-rearing costs. As the chart below shows, housing and food were the biggest expenses. But compared to 2022, parents spent less on other things, like healthcare and child care and education.

Cost category

Average percent (%) of spending

Housing 33%
Food 18%
Transportation 15%
Miscellaneous 11%
Child care and Education 10%
Healthcare 7%
Clothing 6%

Source: USDA Expenditures on Children by Families, 2000

How to Reduce the Cost of Raising a Child Today

No matter when you become a parent, you’ll likely have some major expenses. The good news is, it is possible to save money while raising kids. Here are some tips to consider:

•   Look for ways to lower housing expenses. Housing is the number-one expense for families, so finding ways to trim expenses there can really help you save. For instance, if you’re planning to move, you may want to expand your search to include smaller, less expensive homes located in neighborhoods with lower property taxes.

•   Purchase secondhand clothes. Kids tend to outgrow their clothing quickly. Rather than spend a lot on new outfits, shop secondhand whenever possible. Tag sales, thrift stores, and consignment sites are all good places to explore.

•   Make the most of your local library. Are expensive streaming subscriptions eating away at the family budget? Consider canceling some of those streamers and heading on over the local library. Not only can you check out books and audiobooks for free, you can also rent DVDs and enjoy free events.

•   Shop generic. When it comes to basics like diapers, toiletries, and household cleaners, skip the fancy brand names and go for less-expensive generic versions.

Recommended: From One Child to Two: How to Financially Plan

More Financial Tips for Parents

Whether you’re looking to start a family or add to your brood, there are also some smart financial habits you can start today that can make it easier to afford raising children. As a bonus, these habits can also help you teach your child about money management.

•   Pay down debt quickly. When a borrower takes on debt, they repay not only the amount they borrowed, they also owe interest and fees to the lender in exchange for borrowing the money. That’s why it’s so important to pay off debt quickly. The sooner you erase your debt, the less interest you’ll have to pay.

•   Create a budget that grows with your family. Coming up with a budget — and adapting it to meet your current needs — can help your finances roll with whatever changes life has in store. It’s a good idea to sit down once a month to evaluate what’s working in the budget, what can be improved, and what new expenses are on the horizon. A spending app can also help you keep tabs on where your money is going.

•   Prioritize savings. When you’re raising a family, it’s easy to let long-term savings goals fall by the wayside. One way to make saving second nature is to sock away a portion of each paycheck into a savings account or investment account. By paying yourself first, you’re better positioned to reach your financial goals, whether that’s putting multiple children through college, investing, or saving for retirement.

Recommended: Creating an Investment Plan for Your Child

The Takeaway

Having a family can be rewarding — and expensive. The average middle-class family today will pay around $310,000 to raise a child to age 18. Housing, food, and child care/education are among the top three biggest expenses. The good news is, there are ways to manage expenses and still save for long-term financial goals.

If you need help organizing your finances, consider using a money tracker app. The SoFi app connects all of your accounts in one convenient dashboard. From there, you can see all of your balances, spending breakdowns, and credit score monitoring, plus you can get other valuable financial insights.

Stay up to date on your finances by seeing exactly how your money comes and goes.

FAQ

How much does it cost each year to have a child?

The average middle-class family will spend around $17,255 per year to raise a child.

How much does it cost to raise a child to 18 in 2023?

According to a 2022 Brookings Institution analysis of data from the USDA, a middle-class family will spend $310,605 to raise a child to the age of 18.

How much does a baby cost on average?

The average middle-income household family can expect to spend around $12,680 a year to raise a child from birth to 2 years of age, according to the most recent USDA data.


Photo credit: iStock/Prostock-Studio

SoFi Relay offers users the ability to connect both SoFi accounts and external accounts using Plaid, Inc.’s service. When you use the service to connect an account, you authorize SoFi to obtain account information from any external accounts as set forth in SoFi’s Terms of Use. Based on your consent SoFi will also automatically provide some financial data received from the credit bureau for your visibility, without the need of you connecting additional accounts. SoFi assumes no responsibility for the timeliness, accuracy, deletion, non-delivery or failure to store any user data, loss of user data, communications, or personalization settings. You shall confirm the accuracy of Plaid data through sources independent of SoFi. The credit score is a VantageScore® based on TransUnion® (the “Processing Agent”) data.

*Terms and conditions apply. This offer is only available to new SoFi users without existing SoFi accounts. It is non-transferable. One offer per person. To receive the rewards points offer, you must successfully complete setting up Credit Score Monitoring. Rewards points may only be redeemed towards active SoFi accounts, such as your SoFi Checking or Savings account, subject to program terms that may be found here: SoFi Member Rewards Terms and Conditions. SoFi reserves the right to modify or discontinue this offer at any time without notice.

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.

Non affiliation: SoFi isn’t affiliated with any of the companies highlighted in this article.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

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Is 810 a Good Credit Score in 2023?

If you have an 810 credit score, congratulations. The score is considered excellent and could help you qualify for loans with more favorable terms or premium rewards credit cards.

Let’s take a closer look at what an 810 credit score means and some different strategies that could help boost your credit score.

What Is a Credit Score?

A credit score is a three-digit number that reflects a consumer’s creditworthiness, or ability to pay back loans in a timely manner. Scores range from 300 to 850. Generally speaking, the higher the credit score, the better you tend to appear to a potential lender.

The two most popular credit scoring models are FICO and VantageScore. To calculate your score, both use credit history information provided by the three major credit bureaus: Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax.

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Reasons to Care About Credit Scores

There are several reasons why a good credit score is essential to your financial health. Here are three to keep in mind.

It can increase your chances of being approved for a loan

The higher your credit score, the more likely lenders will approve loan or credit card applications. Whether it’s to purchase a house, buy a car or private student loans, having access to loans can help you achieve some big financial goals. Note that some banks may also run credit checks before issuing you an account.

You may have access to better loan rates and terms

Lenders are more likely to offer consumers with better credit scores lower interest rates and more favorable terms because they’ve proven they pay back their loans on time. A higher credit score may also get you access to other types of products such as premium rewards credit cards.

You could save money

When you move into a new home, the utility company or your landlord may check your credit score to determine how much of a security deposit you’ll need to put down. Typically, the lower your score, the higher your deposit. Though the money is often refundable, it’s usually held in a third-party account that you won’t have access to. Potential employers may also run a credit check before you’re offered a job.

Recommended: Everything About Tri-Merge Credit Reports and How They Work

Is an 810 Credit Score Considered Good or Bad?

An 810 credit score is considered very good. In fact, just 21% of consumers in the U.S. have a credit score of 800 or higher. By comparison, the national average credit score is 714, according to Experian.

What Does an 810 Credit Score Mean?

Having an 810 credit score means you’ve proven through your credit behavior that you are likely to pay back loans on time. As mentioned above, a score of 800 or above places you in the top tier of consumers.

You are also considered to be in the “exceptional” range for your FICO score and “superprime” for your VantageScore. This means lenders are more likely to approve you for loans and offer you access to products such as loans with lower interest rates and premium credit cards. Landlords and utility companies may also ask for a lower security deposit amount (if at all).

How to Build Credit

Looking to build your credit? You have several avenues to explore. Below are a few to consider. Note that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, so it’s a good idea to research all the options available to you.

Use a Credit Card

Even if you’re just starting out in your career or only have fair credit, you may still be able to be approved for a credit card. For instance, you can open a credit card that’s specifically for college students. Or you may want to consider a secured credit card, where you pay a refundable security deposit that acts as your credit line.

Whatever purchases and payments you make on the card are reported to the three major credit bureaus. This in turn helps to establish your credit history.

Become an Authorized User

An authorized user means that your name will be put on someone else’s credit card account. You can use the credit card much like the primary cardholder can, though this person is ultimately responsible for ensuring the minimum payments are paid on time.

If the primary cardholder has a good credit score, then their positive credit history may be added to yours.

Add Monthly Bills to Your Credit Report

Some free credit monitoring services will report your utility and rent payments to your credit report. Doing so can help build your credit history. Even if there is a small fee involved, it may be worth using for a few months, depending on your financial situation.

Recommended: How to Read and Understand Your Credit Report

Take Out a Credit Builder Loan

Credit builder loans are designed to help borrowers who are looking to build their credit. They’re similar to a personal loan, except you don’t initially receive the loan proceeds. Instead, the money will be held in a separate savings account until you pay off the loan. Meanwhile, your payment activity will be reported to the credit bureaus.

How Long Does It Take to Build Credit?

It can take several months for you to establish and build credit. This is because credit scoring models need enough information from your credit history in order to assess your creditworthiness.

As you work on building your credit, do your best to practice good financial habits, such as making on-time payments.

Credit Score Tips

Even if you have an excellent credit score, it’s a good idea to keep up good credit behavior. This includes:

•   Consistently making on-time payments

•   Keeping your credit utilization, or the percentage of the available limit you’re using on revolving credit accounts, as low as possible

•   Avoiding applying for too many new loan or credit accounts at once

•   Keeping your longest credit card or loan account open

•   Regularly monitoring your credit score

•   Checking your credit history and immediately disputing any errors you find

How to Check Your Credit Score

Wondering how to find out your credit score for free? You have several options. The first is your credit card statement. Many credit card issuers provide customers with a complimentary look at their score. To find it, you may need to log into your account or check your monthly credit card statement.

Another option is to use credit score monitoring tools; some are free, others require a payment. Before opening an account, compare each tool to see which one best serves your needs.

The Takeaway

It’s good news if you have an 810 credit score and a sign that you have a track record of paying back your loans. A good score may help improve your access to loans with better terms or premium or luxury credit cards. If you want to improve your score — or just maintain it — you can try practicing good financial habits, like consistently making on-time payments, keeping tabs on your credit score, and disputing any errors.

If you need help managing your spending and saving, consider using a money tracker app. The SoFi app connects all of your accounts in one convenient dashboard. From there, you can see all of your balances, spending breakdowns, and credit score monitoring, plus you can get other valuable financial insights.

Stay up to date on your finances by seeing exactly how your money comes and goes.

FAQ

What is a decent credit score for a 23-year-old?

Chances are, at 23 you’re probably still building your credit. According to Experian data, the average credit score for people aged 18 to 25 is 679. If yours is higher, then it’s considered above average.

What is the highest credit score possible in 2023?

The highest credit score you can achieve is 850 for both FICO and VantageScore scoring models.

Is a credit score of 800 good at age 23?

Whether you’re 23 or not, an 800 credit score is considered excellent.


Photo credit: iStock/Makhbubakhon Ismatova

SoFi Relay offers users the ability to connect both SoFi accounts and external accounts using Plaid, Inc.’s service. When you use the service to connect an account, you authorize SoFi to obtain account information from any external accounts as set forth in SoFi’s Terms of Use. Based on your consent SoFi will also automatically provide some financial data received from the credit bureau for your visibility, without the need of you connecting additional accounts. SoFi assumes no responsibility for the timeliness, accuracy, deletion, non-delivery or failure to store any user data, loss of user data, communications, or personalization settings. You shall confirm the accuracy of Plaid data through sources independent of SoFi. The credit score is a VantageScore® based on TransUnion® (the “Processing Agent”) data.

*Terms and conditions apply. This offer is only available to new SoFi users without existing SoFi accounts. It is non-transferable. One offer per person. To receive the rewards points offer, you must successfully complete setting up Credit Score Monitoring. Rewards points may only be redeemed towards active SoFi accounts, such as your SoFi Checking or Savings account, subject to program terms that may be found here: SoFi Member Rewards Terms and Conditions. SoFi reserves the right to modify or discontinue this offer at any time without notice.

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.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

Disclaimer: Many factors affect your credit scores and the interest rates you may receive. SoFi is not a Credit Repair Organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. SoFi does not provide “credit repair” services or advice or assistance regarding “rebuilding” or “improving” your credit record, credit history, or credit rating. For details, see the FTC’s website .

Checking Your Rates: To check the rates and terms you may qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and may affect your credit.

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