Consumer Awareness of Credit Scores Drops 12 Percent In 3 Months

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Significant drops among the less educated, lower income, married, and middle aged.

Despite continuous advertising and articles about credit scores, consumer awareness of credit scores dropped 12% in just three months. In April, just 68% of Americans claimed to know what a credit score was, compared with 77% in January -- a 12% decline.

The greatest drops were among individuals aged 35-54 and those who have a high school education or less, with each group seeing a 14% drop in credit score awareness. Households making less than $35,000 a year saw a 12% drop in awareness, while married consumers’ awareness declined by 8%. The results are part of the Second Quarter 2010 FreeScore.com Consumer Credit Score Awareness Study comparing January and March online polls, each of 1,000 Americans ages 18+.

The drop in credit awareness by these groups mirrors both unemployment and foreclosure trends. The most recent statistics showed unemployment rates among individuals with only a high school education at 10.6%, which is currently higher than the national average and a 1.2% increase since April 2009. In addition, homeowners who have lower levels of education, income, and credit scores are already at a higher risk of foreclosure -- and loss of employment can be the tipping point that puts them over the edge.

According to Carrie Coghill Kuntz, Director of Consumer Education for FreeScore.com, "Understanding your credit score is a necessity for all individuals, but the drops in awareness show a larger portion of the population isn't receiving this vital information. These consumers, who tend to be middle-aged with lower income and less formal education, can begin to educate themselves about the importance of credit scores and reports by going to informative websites like the Federal Trade Commissions credit information website."

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

About FreeScore.com
FreeScore.com is a service that provides consumers with access to their credit scores, reports and monitoring. For more information, go to http://www.FreeScore.com.

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*The data for the Second Quarter 2010 FreeScore.com Consumer Credit Score Awareness Studies 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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