freecreditscore.com(TM) tells consumers, "Give yourself some credit"
New survey data indicates most Americans understand the consequences of a low
credit score — but there's room for improvement, using three important
COSTA MESA, Calif., April 24, 2013
COSTA MESA, Calif., April 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --freecreditscore.com™ today
announced the findings of a recent survey showing that while many Americans
understand how low credit scores can lead to reduced buying power, there is
less recognition that high scores may indicate it's the "right time" to buy.
In addition, while nearly half of respondents (49 percent) said they check
their credit scores at least once per year, the rest (42 percent) check once
every two years or less, including a worrisome percentage of respondents (22
percent) who never check.
In response to this data, freecreditscore.com selected National Financial
Literacy Month (April) to kick off its Give Yourself Some Credit education
campaign — recognizing that it's time to focus on the positive efforts
Americans make to get a handle on debt and credit management.
"There are a lot of negative personal finance indicators highlighted in the
news," said Ken Chaplin, senior vice president of marketing for
freecreditscore.com. "While there are lessons to be learned in those
statistics, Americans have improved their credit management, debt reduction
and payment consistency. It's been — and continues to be — a hard road, so we
want to say, 'Give yourself some credit' for that improvement. That's going to
be our theme for credit management education over the next 12 months."
In the spirit of National Financial Literacy Month, freecreditscore.com offers
three simple credit "Literacy Lessons," inspired by the survey data:
oLiteracy Lesson No. 1: Keep checking credit scores often. Credit score
awareness can warn of possible identity theft. A sudden, unexpected score
drop may indicate fraudulent credit applications or default on a
fraudulent loan. Currently, 49 percent of Americans check their credit
scores at least once per year. We say, "Give yourself some credit!"
(However, 22 percent never check.)
oLiteracy Lesson No. 2: Big plans? Plan ahead. According to the survey,
significant expenses, including a home (31 percent), an automobile (32
percent) or a loan (28 percent), are the most common reasons for checking
a credit score. Poor credit scores can interfere with those big life
plans, but building and maintaining good credit can positively affect
interest rates and save consumers thousands of dollars. The survey also
showed that most people understand that they should check their scores
before applying for a loan. That's reason to say, "Give yourself some
credit!" (Sixty-five percent of respondents also checked their scores
"just to know," and that's not a bad thing.)
oLiteracy Lesson No. 3: A credit score can help inform purchase decisions.
Understanding the impact credit-to-debt ratio has on a credit score is the
sign of a savvy consumer. Online tools such as the freecreditscore.com
Score Planner™ show how credit-related actions can impact scores.
Commendably, per the survey, more than 75 percent of Americans would
minimize credit use or postpone large purchases — or both — if they
discovered they had a low credit score. Definitely, we say "Give yourself
some credit!" At the opposite end, there's opportunity for improvement.
Surprisingly, if they had a high credit score, 65 percent of respondents
said it would not influence them to consider large purchases sooner than
planned. That decision might cost them better interest rates down the road
if their scores drop before making those purchases.
The data points referenced above come from a study commissioned by Experian,
produced by research firm Edelman Berland and conducted as an online omnibus
survey among a nationally representative sample of1,201 American adults ages
18 to 65 and older. Interviewing took place from April 1–4, 2013. The margin
of error is plus or minus 3 percent.
freecreditscore.com, which features the patented online Score Planner™ tool,
is part of a family of online consumer credit management sites belonging to
ConsumerInfo.com, Inc., an Experian company. ConsumerInfo.com, Inc. was
founded in 1995 to give consumers quick, easy and inexpensive access to their
credit profile. It is now the leading provider of online consumer credit
reports, credit scores, credit monitoring and other credit-related
information. ConsumerInfo.com, Inc. provides credit monitoring to its more
than 3.1 million members and has delivered more than 20 million credit reports
on the Web. As part of the Experian family, it continues to grow its
membership base and develop innovative products to help consumers better
understand and manage their credit.
Experian^® is the leading global information services company, providing data
and analytical tools to clients around the world. The Group helps businesses
to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate
decision making. Experian also helps individuals to check their credit report
and credit score, and protect against identity theft.
Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a
constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended 31 March
2012 was US$4.5 billion. Experian employs approximately 17,000 people in 44
countries and has its corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, with
operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; California, US; and Sao Paulo,
For more information, visit http://www.experianplc.com.
Experian and the Experian marks used herein are service marks or registered
trademarks of Experian Information Solutions, Inc. Other product and company
names mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.
1 323 202 1075 (office)
1 818 259 0631 (cell)
1 949 202 7296 (cell)
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