Consumer Knowledge of Credit Leaves a Lot to Be Desired

May 14, 2012
Housing Wire 
consumer financial protection bureau news

Americans are more knowledgeable about credit in 2012 than in 2011, but there are still gaps to close, according to a survey by the Consumer Federation of America. The results showed increased knowledge about which companies collect credit information and how to check it but a lack of knowledge about the negative impact of low credit scores. The majority of survey respondents knew who uses credit scores and that missed payments, personal bankruptcy, and high credit card balances can have affect the number. However, only 9 percent of respondents correctly knew that multiple inquiries within one or two weeks will not lower FICO scores or VantageScore credit scores. Thirty-four percent of respondents incorrectly believed that each inquiry lowers one's scores. More than half of respondents also incorrectly believed that a person’s age and marital status are used to calculate scores, and 21 percent incorrectly believed that ethnic origin matters. Only 44 percent of respondents were aware that a credit score measures risk of repaying loans rather than amount of debt or financial resources.
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