A new consumer group study has found that this year the number of people checking their credit score regularly has risen from 49% to 57%. This is a significant boost, and is helping adults to have a better understanding of their financial situation, and how this might affect their spending in the future. Sol why are more people checking their credit score, and how can it help you?
Protect your identity
Last year there was a huge data breach at Equifax. It was an incident that has so far cost the company more than $200 million to rectify, in upgrading IT and security. The breach affected more than 149 million Americans who had their personal information stolen by cyber hackers. The details taken were names and partial driving license information. Hackers targeted social security numbers in particular. This data breach has prompted more people to check their credit score and associated information, to make sure that it is up to date and correct. They want to make sure that their details haven’t been compromised, and are accurate and secure. Regularly monitoring this is the only way to make sure that credit information is correct.
Know what you can borrow
The consumer group survey showed that people who are borrowing, or planning to borrow money are more likely to check their credit score. This group of people are far more knowledgeable about their credit rating, and how it can help them, than non-borrowers. It means that they are taking into consideration how much they might be allowed to borrow for a loan or a mortgage, and being responsible about this.
Understanding your credit score
One of the other reasons that consumers are checking their credit scores regularly is to obtain a better understanding of how to boost their score, raising their borrowing potential. The survey showed that the people that did this, generally had a score that was between 5-10 points higher than those that didn’t check their credit information. You can help to improve your score by making loan and credit card repayments on time, and also by keeping your card balances low – preferably under a quarter of your credit limit.
The fact that more people are checking their credit score indicates that consumers are becoming more responsible borrowers. They are also actively protecting their personal identity and information – something that is extremely valuable in the current financial climate.