American Consumers Still Lacking Credit Score Savvy

The gap between Americans who know about credit scores and those who don’t is growing GMAC Mortgage division vice president Paul Fein told MarketWatch. He was commenting on a recent survey conducted by Caravan Opinion Research Corp., for GMAC Mortgage which indicated only 7 percent of respondents knew a credit score of 800 or better gets the best rate while 62 percent admitted they did not know what score earned the best rates.

“Some people understand it and some people have no idea that there’s this credit-scoring system,” Fein is quoted by MarketWatch as saying. “There are still a lot of myths out there and a lot of questions about credit scoring in general.”

Consumer confusion results in part from the complex way in which credit scores are calculated and in part from mixing credit scores up with credit. Fortunately, many of the methods used to improve an individual’s creditworthiness, such as paying bills on time and reducing credit card debt, also improves their credit score.

Other methods of improving credit, such as increasing income or closing credit accounts, have no effect on credit score or can actually lower a credit score, because history play a large role in generating a credit score. Another factor in determining credit score is how much debt the individual actually has in relation to how much credit they have available.

“There are people who just don’t understand credit scoring. They know the quality of credit is important. They just don’t know it’s actually broken down to a score,” Fein told MarketWatch

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