More Americans than ever are aware of the importance of their credit profiles. In fact, three out of four consumers, 73 percent, say they are aware of their credit standing and 61 percent say their credit standing is important to them right now, according to a recent independent survey commissioned by Discover.
But here’s the problem: Far fewer say they check their credit score more than once a year.
Asked how many times they checked their credit score within the past year:
- 28 percent of respondents said they didn’t check their score at all during the prior year
- 21 percent checked once
- 25 percent checked 2-3 times
- 12 percent checked 4-6 times
- 6 percent checked 7-11 times
- 8 percent checked 12 or more times
“Consumers have come a long way in recent years in building awareness of their credit score and the ways in which it can impact their day-to-day life,” says Ryan Scully, Discover’s vice president of marketing. “The next step for many is to stay on top of their credit standing throughout the year. By regularly checking their score—if not monthly, then at least every couple months—consumers can gain valuable insight into the factors that affect their score, which in turn can help them make smarter financial decisions.”
The survey found that those who checked their credit score most often during the prior year were more likely to say that checking their score had a positive impact on their credit behavior — compared with those who checked their score less often. Credit behavior encompasses paying bills on time, paying down loans and maintaining low balances on their credit cards.