San Francisco, CA | May 20, 2014
A majority of Americans have seen their credit scores and are both proud of and satisfied with them, according to the 2014 Credit.com Credit Score Awareness Survey. Sixty-six percent of those who saw their scores said that they were satisfied with them, and when asked how they felt when they saw that number, 32% said that the following phrase described exactly how they felt: “Pride. I’m proud of my score and what I’ve achieved financially.” Only, 9% said “anxiety” described exactly how they felt.
Additionally, most who saw their score got some good news. 58% said it was about the same as they expected and 25% said it was higher than they thought it would be. Only 17% said it was lower than expected.
“Checking your credit score can be nerve racking, especially if it’s the first time you’ve seen it. But for most people it turns out there’s nothing to worry about. It may even be an empowering experience,” says Adam Levin, co-founder and chairman of Credit.com. “Many of us should really be patting ourselves on the back.”
Awareness of Credit Scores High
According to the survey, just over half of consumers (51%) have seen their credit scores in the past year, with 20% having seen them in the past month. Only 16% have never seen their credit score.
Striving For Perfection?
While a majority of respondents are satisfied with their scores, a significant number would like to improve theirs, with 40% saying they wished they had a plan to improve their credit over the next six months. Yet, of those, only 45% say they have a specific plan for improving their credit over the next six months, and just 24% are extremely confident the actions they are taking right now will help them boost theirs. (Nearly half are “quite confident” they are taking the right steps.)
Right Steps & Wrong Steps to Build Credit
Sometimes consumers don’t understand which actions will really help them build better credit, and which won’t. When consumers who say they wish they had a plan to improve their credit were asked what steps they plan to take to accomplish that, they reported the following:
Among those options, reducing credit card debt and consolidation may help, but closing old accounts and paying off collections are unlikely to help their scores. In fact,closing accounts may hurt them. Applying for new credit may help if a consumer consolidates high-balance credit cards with a personal loan. Or it may have the opposite effect because new accounts can be a risk factor that can lower one’s score.
“It’s great to want to improve your credit scores, but without a specific plan you may find yourself spinning your wheels – or worse, doing something that hurts your scores,” says Gerri Detweiler, Credit.com’s Director of Consumer Education. “That’s why, along with free credit scores, Credit.com also provides consumers with a personalized action plan for their credit.”
About the Survey
The 2014 Credit.com Credit Score Awareness Survey was based on a survey of of 2,206 U.S. consumers, 18+, using Survey Monkey Audience, April 25 – 27, 2014.
Credit.com is the only company of its kind to be founded and run by leading credit experts including journalists, authors and consumer advocates. The Company is committed to helping consumers understand and master the confusing world of credit and to improve their financial standing by recommending products and actions that are in consumers’ best interest. Only Credit.com provides consumers with a customized view of their credit standing and an actionable plan to improve and maintain their credit – all for free.