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According to new data from the 2015 Chase Slate Credit Survey, roughly two-in-five Americans don’t know their credit score and more than half don’t know that paying bills on time is the primary driver of a credit score. Yet two-thirds say they’d like to be able to improve their score in the next year to be more financially fit.
The survey reveals that Americans who have previously checked their credit score consider a “good” score to be 719 on average1. This is 51 points higher than what is considered to be good by those who have never checked their score (668). What Americans may not realize is that even a score of 719 might not give them access to credit at the best rates. Consumers need to check their score and know what’s driving it if they are to reach their credit potential and manage their credit health with confidence.
Since the majority of Americans would like to see their credit score go up, here are some helpful credit tips for consumers of all ages:
- Millennials: Get in the know about your credit profile and the factors that impact it. Awareness is the first and most important step…
- Gen X: Identify strengths and weaknesses that are driving your credit score so you can start making improvements…
- Boomers: Stay on top of your credit health – it still matters in your 60s and beyond, despite what you might have heard…
- Tip for All: Pay down debt… automatically. Set up automatic payments to ensure you pay your bills on time…
Checking Your Credit Score Correlates to Financial Aptitude
The vast majority of Americans (90 percent) recognize the importance that access to credit plays throughout their life, according to new Chase Slate Credit Survey. However, when it comes to awareness of their personal credit health there are gaps. Nearly four-in-ten Americans (39 percent) admit they do not know their current credit score, and more than half (52 percent) do not know that paying bills on time is the factor that has the largest impact on their credit score.
“Having healthy credit could mean the difference between achieving major life goals, such as buying a home or starting a small business, and never realizing those dreams. Yet too many Americans don’t have access to information and tools that empower them to properly plan for the future and manage their credit health,” said Pam Codispoti, President of the Mass Affluent Business for Chase Card Services.
Only 37 percent of Americans feel very confident that their current credit score can help them accomplish certain personal goals in their life, and many wish their credit score were higher. Two-thirds (66 percent) say they would like to be able to improve their credit score over the next year, yet only one-in-three (35 percent) have a plan they feel confident will allow them to succeed and one-fifth (22 percent) admit they have never taken any steps to do so.
Tools for Boosting Your Credit Score
Chase recently introduced the new Chase Slate® credit card, which provides cardmembers with a Credit Score & More feature. Cardmembers have access to their FICO® Score for free as well as the reasons behind their score, a summary view of their credit bureau information and helpful suggestions to manage their credit health. With Slate, cardmembers have the information and insights to understand where they stand so that they can move forward with confidence.
“Your credit score is much more than just a number – it’s a key indicator of credit health that helps you assess where you stand and what’s within reach,” says personal finance expert and Chase Slate financial education partner Farnoosh Torabi. “Checking your score, and checking it regularly, is a simple step you can take now to introduce more positive financial habits into your life. The higher your score, the more likely you are to be deemed eligible for a loan or receive better terms and interest rates.”
Never Stop Improving
When it comes to getting your finances in shape, there is truly no time like the present to begin making the necessary changes. To learn more about credit scores and how to take control of your finances, check out these articles: