January 2021 Short Bits

January 2021 Short Bits


According to the IRS, nearly 88% of taxpayers claimed the standard deduction in 2018. This is up from 68% in 2017. The increase is likely attributed to the increase in the standard deduction in 2018, thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which increased the standard deduction from $6,350 in 2017 to $12,000. Fewer taxpayers found enough itemizable deductions to overcome the hefty standard deduction.


The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that employee tenure at January 2020 was 4.1 years and has barely changed from January 2018 when it was 4.2 years. Manufacturing employees remained with an employer the longest at 5.1 years and by contrast, employees in the hospitality sector had the shortest tenure at just 2.3 years.


The first half of 2020 saw a near record amount of mortgage lending thanks to record low interest rates. A total of $1.8 trillion was lent in the first six months of 2020, just off the record of $1.82 trillion, set in the first half of 2003, according to Black Knight, a mortgage data company. The average mortgage loan size has also increased. But due to the current economic situation, lenders are requiring more information and real-time employment verification making applying and qualifying for a mortgage tougher.


According to Experian, the average FICO credit score in 2019 was up 2 points to 703. And 1.2% of Americans held a perfect 850 FICO score. This is a result of Americans making better credit decisions and actively monitoring their credit for accuracy. By state, Minnesota consumers come in with the highest average rate of 733 in 2019 while Boulder, Colorado’s consumers hold the highest score for a city at 743.

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