Survey shows consumers still in the dark about credit

May 15, 2012

Consumer knowledge about credit scores has improved significantly over the past year, including awareness of who collects information on which most scores are based, the importance of checking this information, what good scores are, how to raise them, and what service providers use these scores, according to a survey in April.

But that’s about where it stops.

Most consumers still do not know how costly low scores can be, when multiple inquiries hurt their scores, and the risks of purchasing credit repair services, according to findings of the second annual consumer knowledge about credit scores paid for by the Consumer Federation of America and VantageScore Solutions.

“In the numerous consumer knowledge surveys we have undertaken over the past several decades, I have never seen such improvement from one year to the next,” says Stephen Brobeck, CFA’s executive director. “However, credit reports and scores are so important to consumers that they should try to improve knowledge that remains deficient in several key areas.”


Methodology notes

The CFA-VantageScore survey was administered to a representative sample of over 1,000 adult Americans by phone in late April 2012 by ORC International. The margin of error is plus or minus three percentage points. A CFA-VantageScore survey containing many of the same questions was administered by ORC International in January 2011.