25.5% Drop in Home Sales Coincides with Drop in Credit Score Awareness

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Consumer Awareness of Credit Scores Dropped 10 Percent from January to July 2010

Consumer awareness of credit scores dropped 10 percent from January to July 2010, which coincided in part with a 25.5-percent drop in existing homes nationwide from July 2009 to July 2010, according to The National Association of Realtors.

A survey of 1,000 American consumers in July 2010 revealed that 70 percent of Americans claimed to know what a credit score was, compared with 77 percent in January -- a 10-percent decrease. The survey results are part of the Third Quarter 2010 FreeScore.com Consumer Credit Score Awareness Study*. The study compared January, March, and July online polls of 1,000 Americans ages 18+.

In April/May, consumers' credit score awareness was even lower, at 68 percent. This coincided with a May housing report that showed only 300,000 new homes were sold that month, a 32.7-percent decline from new homes sold in April. This decline in credit awareness and home sales coincided with the expiration of the $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers and the $6,500 tax credit for repeat homebuyers.

Consumers in FreeScore.com's third-quarter survey were asked to select specific transactions for which credit scores would become increasingly important to future generations. The results indicate that home sales could be a leading indicator of credit score awareness:

Purchasing a home: 82%
Buying a car: 78%
Obtaining credit cards: 77%
Securing education loans: 66%
Renting an apartment: 63%
Seeking a new job: 55%

According to Carrie Coghill, Director of Consumer Education for FreeScore.com, "While people pay more attention to their credit scores when making a home purchase, the reality is that credit scores are increasingly becoming a life score. Staying aware of your credit scores is important if you want to make a major purchase. There are often discrepancies in credit scores and credit reports that can take time to remedy. So credit score awareness is a crucial part of being financially literate today, regardless of whether or not you're applying for a new home loan."

Consumers can check their credit report from each major credit bureau once a year at the government site AnnualCreditReport.com, or they can check all three of their credit scores and credit reports as often as they wish at http://www.FreeScore.com.

About FreeScore.com
FreeScore.com is the leading online consumer credit site, providing consumers with affordable, unlimited access to all three of their credit scores and complete credit profile. Launched in 2009 with an award-winning advertising campaign featuring actor, economist, and lawyer, Ben Stein, FreeScore.com has serviced more than 750,000 members. Members have unlimited access to their credit scores from all three bureaus, a complete credit profile, and expert tips, articles, videos and other educational information about credit management. For more information, go to FreeScore.com.

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*The data for the Third Quarter 2010 FreeScore.com Consumer Credit Score Awareness Study were collected through Survey Sampling International in Shelton, Connecticut. Results have a margin of error +/- 5%.

The articles and information available are for educational and reference purposes only. They do not constitute, and should not be construed as, legal or financial advice. Any legal or financial principles discussed here are for general information purposes only and may differ substantially in individual situations and/or in different states or countries. For specific legal or financial advice, please consult a licensed attorney or a financial professional. FreeScore does not control or guarantee the accuracy of any information provided through external links from the articles on this website to any other website, nor does the FreeScore privacy policy apply to any personal information that may be collected via the external links.


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Aaron Berger

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