Every month, American Consumer Credit Counseling posts a poll question on its homepage. For the month of March, ACCC asked…
Do You Know Your Credit Score?
We had 819 responses. Here’s what we found out…
American consumers still reeling from a lingering economic slowdown are being held back by low credit scores that can complicate their financial lives. Nearly 40 percent of those surveyed reported scores below 620 – generally considered the cut-off point for sub-prime credit and high interest rates. More than 20 percent have scores below 580 – making it difficult or impossible to qualify for a mortgage, car loan and many credit cards.
Just 18 percent of respondents reported a credit score over 700. Banks, mortgage companies, and other credit issuers typically reserve the best rates and deals for consumers with credit scores above 720.
About a quarter of those surveyed fell into the score range of 620-699 – suggesting that with some focus and diligence they are in position to improve those numbers through better financial management and budgeting practices.
17 percent of all respondents said they don’t even know what their score is. And when viewed regionally, the data is even more alarming. Of those responding to the poll from the Northeast (the largest geographical sample in the survey) a full 34 percent said they don’t know their score. A similar percentage from the South reported not knowing their scores, while respondents in the Midwest and West were generally more aware of their credit profiles.
All consumers are entitled to a free annual copy of their credit report from the three major credit bureaus – Experian, Trans-Union and Equifax. To request this report and get more information, visit AnnualCreditReport.com.
The credit score poll was the latest in a series of ACCC web surveys for 2012 that focus on a variety of financial education, budgeting, and planning topics. American Consumer Credit Counseling’s certified and experienced counselors offer a variety of financial education, counseling, and debt management services to help consumers achieve long-term financial health and stability.
Visit ConsumerCredit.com to participate in this month’s poll, or to find more information on ACCC’s services.