Every month ACCC holds a poll question over at ConsumerCredit.com. In April we asked:
How Financially Fit Are You?
We asked about what basic personal finance skills people feel capable or incapable of. Here’s what we found out…
Of the 236 Respondents…
- 80 percent are unclear about how to effectively optimize their retirement fund.
- 78 percent do not know how to recover from identity theft.
- 76 percent know how to create a budget.
- 63 percent know how to dispute an error on their credit report.
While the high number of consumers that are able to create a budget is encouraging, this survey highlights an ongoing need to educate consumers on more complex financial decisions. Our economy is still recovering and many consumers are not thinking of their financial profile in ten or twenty years. But the truth is, knowing how to effectively invest and save for retirement now are critical components of ensuring a financially healthy future.
It’s good to know that most people know how to dispute credit report errors. In an era when nearly 40 million consumers have a mistake on their credit report, more and more individuals are arming themselves with the necessary financial education to combat these errors. There is no reason a consumer should be negatively impacted by false information on their report. These errors can affect one’s ability to purchase a car, obtain a loan, or even attend school.
Identity theft can also negatively impact a credit report, and it is the fastest growing crime in America. The best piece of advice for any consumer to ensure that they do not fall victim is to review your credit report. This will help identify any misuse of credit cards and can also lead to identifying lines of credit that were opened under your name.
All consumers are entitled to a free annual copy of their credit report from the three major credit bureaus – Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. To request this report and get more information, visit AnnualCreditReport.com.
To participate in ACCC’s poll questions, visit https://www.consumercredit.com/monthly-poll.aspx.