More millennials are aware of their credit standing in 2019 compared to 2017, according to Discover’s annual Credit Health survey. Since 2017, millennials’ awareness of their credit standing has jumped 38 points from just 55 percent to 93 percent in 2019. Also in this year’s survey, millennials’ awareness outpaces other generations, as 79 percent of Generation X and 73 percent of baby boomers said they are aware of their credit standing.
Millennials are the most likely to believe their credit standing has an impact on their day-to-day life (78 percent), compared to just 52 percent of Gen X and 35 percent of baby boomers. Additionally, millennials led the way in believing that checking their credit score helps them make smarter financial decisions (65 percent), compared to only 39 percent of baby boomers.
“Credit health is one of the most important aspects of a person’s financial wellbeing, especially for those who are reaching life’s milestones and may be getting married, buying a home or making other major financial decisions,” said Stefanie O’Connell, a nationally-recognized personal finance author and speaker. “Discover’s Credit Health survey shows that more people are taking the proactive step of checking their credit score. People want to assess their long-term goals, properly manage their money and build a better life around their priorities.”
Credit Scores Are Top of Mind for More Consumers
The survey revealed the majority of consumers are thinking about their credit score and 73 percent of consumers think about their credit score at least once a month.
When it comes to actually checking their credit score, 82 percent of respondents said they checked at least once in the last year, up 10 points from 72 percent in 2017. Additionally, more than half (56 percent) of respondents said they are actively trying to improve their credit.
“We know there is always more work to be done to educate consumers about their credit health,” said Gaurav Sharma, senior vice president of marketing at Discover. “Our Credit Scorecard tool was designed to ensure that all consumers – not just Discover cardmembers – have free and easy access to their FICO®1 Credit Score and factors that impact it. An increase in both overall awareness and in the number of consumers checking their credit score is exactly what we hoped for when creating the tool.”
There Continues to be Confusion around Checking Credit Scores and Factors that Affect Credit Standing
While awareness is increasing, there is still confusion when it comes to whether checking a credit score has an impact on the score itself. Almost a quarter of respondents (23 percent) said they think checking their credit score negatively affects it.
Additionally, there is confusion about the factors that affect credit standing, as less than half of respondents (47 percent) correctly said credit payment history has a direct impact on credit standing, and just 34 percent of respondents said credit utilization has an impact on credit standing. Eighteen percent falsely said income has an impact on credit standing, and 15 percent incorrectly said employment history affects it.
Consumers have conflicting opinions about the impact they can have on their credit standing, as the majority (63 percent) believe it is within their control, yet 55 percent do not think a good credit standing is easy to get.
For more information about Discover’s free Credit Scorecard, go to www.creditscorecard.com.