RIVERWOODS, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The majority of U.S. consumers, 61 percent, are actively trying to improve their credit score, according to a recent survey commissioned by Discover. Millennials are leading the charge, as 83 percent reported taking steps to improve their score, compared to 66 percent of Generation X and 34 percent of Baby Boomers. In fact, the youngest survey respondents, ages 18 to 21, outpaced all other age groups as 87 percent said they were actively working to improve their score.
“As awareness of credit scores continues to grow among consumers, it’s particularly encouraging to see the younger generation’s dedication to improving their scores,” says Jeff Bielski, vice president of marketing at Discover. “Building credit at a young age can be beneficial down the road when it comes time for some of life’s big moments, like buying a home or a car, or renting an apartment.”
Credit Awareness Is on the Rise
Eighty-five percent of those surveyed said they are aware of their credit standing, up from 73 percent last year. Baby Boomers were most likely to say they are aware of their credit standing at 91 percent, followed by Generation X at 86 percent and Millennials at 77 percent.
More than two-thirds of survey respondents, 71 percent, said their current credit score is in the good to exceptional range (670 and up), with the largest number, 30 percent, saying their score is exceptional (800 or higher). Just 19 percent said their current score is fair or poor (669 or below).
More than half of Baby Boomers, 52 percent, reported having an exceptional credit score, compared to 28 percent of Generation X and 11 percent of Millennials. At the other end of the spectrum, about a quarter of both Millennials and Generation X—24 and 25 percent, respectively—said their score is fair or poor, compared to just 8 percent of Baby Boomers.
Millennials Check their Credit Score the Most
Eighty-two percent of all survey respondents said they checked their credit score at least once in the past year, a 10 percent increase over last year. In addition, 12 percent said they checked their credit score 12 or more times in the past year, which is a 4 percent increase from a year ago. Among those who reported checking their score at least once within the past year, the majority, 56 percent, believe checking their score has had a positive impact on their credit behavior, such as paying bills on time and paying down loans.
Millennials check their credit score more often than other generations, the survey found. Seventy percent of Millennials said they checked their score more than once in the past year, compared to 67 percent of Generation X and 61 percent of Baby Boomers. This corresponds with the finding that 76 percent of Millennials believe checking their credit score helps them make smarter financial decisions, compared to 62 percent of Generation X and 38 percent of Baby Boomers.
“Credit scores can fluctuate from month to month and certainly year to year, so it’s great to see an increase in the number of consumers who say they’ve checked their score within the past year, as well as on a monthly basis,” adds Bielski. “One of the aims of our Credit Scorecard tool is to ensure that all people—regardless of whether they are a Discover customer—have a free and easy way to check their FICO®1 Credit Score, and to gain insight into the factors that influence their score.”
For more information about Discover’s free Credit Scorecard, go to www.creditscorecard.com.
About the Survey
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from a Research Now SSI survey conducted on behalf of Discover. The survey was conducted online between June 9-19, 2018, with a total sample size of 2005 U.S. adults (ages 18+). The maximum margin of sampling error was ±2 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence. The following generational breaks were used when examining the data: Millennials (18-34), Generation X (35-54) and Baby Boomers (55+).
Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) is a direct banking and payment services company with one of the most recognized brands in U.S. financial services. Since its inception in 1986, the company has become one of the largest card issuers in the United States. The company issues the Discover card, America's cash rewards pioneer, and offers private student loans, personal loans, home equity loans, checking and savings accounts and certificates of deposit through its direct banking business. It operates the Discover Global Network comprised of Discover Network, with millions of merchant and cash access locations; PULSE, one of the nation's leading ATM/debit networks; and Diners Club International, a global payments network with acceptance in 190 countries and territories. For more information, visit www.discover.com/company.
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