Market Overview

Majority of U.S. Consumers Are Actively Trying to Improve Their Credit Score

Share:

Millennials Outpace other Generations in Efforts to Boost their
Score

The majority of U.S. consumers, 61 percent, are actively trying to
improve their credit score, according to a recent survey commissioned by
Discover. Millennials are leading the charge, as 83 percent reported
taking steps to improve their score, compared to 66 percent of
Generation X and 34 percent of Baby Boomers. In fact, the youngest
survey respondents, ages 18 to 21, outpaced all other age groups as 87
percent said they were actively working to improve their score.

"As awareness of credit scores continues to grow among consumers, it's
particularly encouraging to see the younger generation's dedication to
improving their scores," says Jeff Bielski, vice president of marketing
at Discover. "Building credit at a young age can be beneficial down the
road when it comes time for some of life's big moments, like buying a
home or a car, or renting an apartment."

Credit Awareness Is on the Rise

Eighty-five percent of those surveyed said they are aware of their
credit standing, up from 73 percent last year. Baby Boomers were most
likely to say they are aware of their credit standing at 91 percent,
followed by Generation X at 86 percent and Millennials at 77 percent.

More than two-thirds of survey respondents, 71 percent, said their
current credit score is in the good to exceptional range (670 and up),
with the largest number, 30 percent, saying their score is exceptional
(800 or higher). Just 19 percent said their current score is fair or
poor (669 or below).

More than half of Baby Boomers, 52 percent, reported having an
exceptional credit score, compared to 28 percent of Generation X and 11
percent of Millennials. At the other end of the spectrum, about a
quarter of both Millennials and Generation X—24 and 25 percent,
respectively—said their score is fair or poor, compared to just 8
percent of Baby Boomers.

Millennials Check their Credit Score the Most

Eighty-two percent of all survey respondents said they checked their
credit score at least once in the past year, a 10 percent increase over
last year. In addition, 12 percent said they checked their credit score
12 or more times in the past year, which is a 4 percent increase from a
year ago. Among those who reported checking their score at least once
within the past year, the majority, 56 percent, believe checking their
score has had a positive impact on their credit behavior, such as paying
bills on time and paying down loans.

Millennials check their credit score more often than other generations,
the survey found. Seventy percent of Millennials said they checked their
score more than once in the past year, compared to 67 percent of
Generation X and 61 percent of Baby Boomers. This corresponds with the
finding that 76 percent of Millennials believe checking their credit
score helps them make smarter financial decisions, compared to 62
percent of Generation X and 38 percent of Baby Boomers.

"Credit scores can fluctuate from month to month and certainly year to
year, so it's great to see an increase in the number of consumers who
say they've checked their score within the past year, as well as on a
monthly basis," adds Bielski. "One of the aims of our Credit Scorecard
tool is to ensure that all people—regardless of whether they are a
Discover customer—have a free and easy way to check their FICO®1
Credit Score, and to gain insight into the factors that influence their
score."

For more information about Discover's free Credit Scorecard, go to www.creditscorecard.com.

About the Survey

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from a Research Now SSI survey
conducted on behalf of Discover. The survey was conducted online between
June 9-19, 2018, with a total sample size of 2005 U.S. adults (ages
18+). The maximum margin of sampling error was ±2 percentage points with
a 95 percent level of confidence. The following generational breaks were
used when examining the data: Millennials (18-34), Generation X (35-54)
and Baby Boomers (55+).

About Discover

Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) is a direct banking and payment
services company with one of the most recognized brands in U.S.
financial services. Since its inception in 1986, the company has become
one of the largest card issuers in the United States. The company issues
the Discover card, America's cash rewards pioneer, and offers private
student loans, personal loans, home equity loans, checking and savings
accounts and certificates of deposit through its direct banking
business. It operates the Discover Global Network comprised of Discover
Network, with millions of merchant and cash access locations; PULSE, one
of the nation's leading ATM/debit networks; and Diners Club
International, a global payments network with acceptance in 190
countries and territories. For more information, visit www.discover.com/company.

1FICO is a registered trademark of the Fair Isaac Corporation
in the U.S. and other countries.

View Comments and Join the Discussion!