Credit Myths, Busted: TransUnion Tackles Credit Confusion in Annual Survey

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CHICAGO, July 17, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Global risk and information solutions provider  (NYSE:TRU) released its third annual credit literacy survey today, exploring the state of U.S. consumer credit knowledge.

The revealed consumers remain misinformed about many fundamental aspects of credit scoring, reporting and building, and lack basic information about the factors that impact a credit score.

With the average VantageScore hovering at 645 in the United States, according to data from TransUnion’s proprietary consumer credit database, the findings of the survey underscore the importance of continued credit education.

“Making credit education accessible for all consumers is one of our top priorities,” said Heather Battison, Vice President of TransUnion. “In general, Americans should invest more time and energy into managing their credit. I can’t overstate the importance of good credit. There are so many stories out there of people who have struggled to make ends meet because they made mistakes that damaged their credit early in life. Our goal is to prevent that by eliminating credit confusion through ongoing education.” 

The 2017 findings explore the most common credit questions received by the TransUnion consumer relations team and debunks six of the most pervasive myths about credit.

The truth is, the impact of closing a credit card account varies based on the percentage of available credit the card provides and the length of credit history associated with the account. If the card represents a small amount of available credit or has a short credit history, the closing may have minimal or even no impact on a credit score. However, if the card in question has a consumer’s longest credit history, or if it represents a large portion of their available credit, it may have a negative impact.

Consumers should weigh all of those factors before closing a credit card account. 

When asked, nearly half (48 percent) of respondents said they believe it’s possible to protect all of their credit reports at once, but the fact is that there is no one tool that protects all three credit reports at once.

In June of this year, however, TransUnion and Equifax announced Multi-Bureau Lock, the first-ever joint credit protection offering, which allows customers to lock or unlock both their TransUnion and Equifax credit reports simultaneously to protect from fraudulent activity and identity theft.

While marital status does not appear on a credit report, credit still plays an important role in couples’ lives, particularly if they want to finance joint purchases like a house or car. Couples shopping together should keep in mind that the individual with the lower credit score in any couple can dictate lending terms or even loan approval rate for the pair, if they are applying jointly.

Travelers may find credit beneficial if they want to use a credit card to finance their international trips. And, of course, it’s crucial for consumers to pay off any financial obligations from their vacation on time and in the full amount to avoid damaging their credit score. But the mere ability to travel from one country to another does not require healthy credit.

Soft inquiries – when a consumer checks his or her own credit – doesn’t impact their credit score. In fact, regular is crucial for credit health and helps ensure information is accurate and up to date. It’s the hard inquiries – when a lender checks a consumer’s score to determine credit approval – that impact scores, and can stay on a person’s credit report for up to two years.

Timely repayment of financial obligations is one of the cornerstones of credit health, which is why it’s so crucial to ensure the payment of all outstanding charges on time and in the full amount each month. Even small utility bills, if not paid, can damage a credit score.

For more information about credit myths and facts, or to sign up for tools to help manage your credit,

We call this . 

Bob Skwarek
Telephone 312-985-2453

More news and information about TransUnion

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Globe Newswire: 15:00 GMT Monday 17th July 2017

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