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Consumer awareness about credit scores on the increase

By Brian Anderson
Published: Friday, May 25th, 2012

VantageScore, a company that computes a score that is similar to the FICO score, and the Consumer Federation of America, tied up with ORC International in order to survey over 1000 people over phone in the second half of April. The sampling error margin of this data is around 3 percent. Though VantageScore is similar to FICO score, these scores range between 501 and 990.

Of the 1000 adults who responded to the survey, 42 percent of them told that they had received a minimum of one credit score over the last 12 months. They received their scores either from a website that used the information provided by all three major credit bureaus to compute the score or from their lender. Respondents who had received their credit report recently seemed to be able to answer all the questions that formed a part of the questionnaire created for this survey.

As compared to the survey that was conducted early this year in the month of January, a large number of respondents knew many critical aspects of their credit score. Most consumers (73 percent of those who took up the survey) knew that their landlords also check the credit scores, in addition to credit card issuers and mortgage lenders. Nearly 71 percent of the survey respondents said they were aware that home insurers as well look into the credit scores of the person applying for the insurance policy. 66 percent of the respondents were aware that cell phone providers also used the credit scores. Another aspect that over three-quarters of the respondents were aware of (over 78 percent) were aware of is that consumers have multiple generic credit scores.

Another surprising revelation of this recent survey was that most consumers were aware of the latest and slightly complex rules governing the disclosure of credit scores. To the question that asked them for the conditions under which borrowers should be notified by the lenders about the former’s credit scores, a vast majority accurately identified the three conditions as when their loan application was rejected; when they apply for a mortgage and also when the consumer is not given the best interest rates on consumer loans.

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