So, you think you know credit?

As much as you think you know about credit reports, credit scores, and how both of those can impact your ability to purchase goods at a competitive rate, you probably don’t know the whole story. Truthfully, you’re not alone.

2013 survey commissioned by the Consumer Federation of America found that Americans have some surprising misconceptions about how credit reports are used and what information is tracked.

  • Over 40 percent are unaware that their credit score impacts their ability to obtain new lines of credit, including home loans.
  • Over 40 percent of respondents also incorrectly believe that factors such as age and marital status are used to calculate their credit score.
  • Over one-third were unaware that co-signing on a loan would impact their credit score.
  • More than a quarter of those polled were unclear on the actions they could take to positively or negatively impact their credit score.
  • 36 percent believe that credit repair agencies are a trustworthy way to increase your credit score.

The unfortunate fact is that consumers aren’t required to learn how credit works before they start using it. There’s no Driver’s Ed for credit cards, which means that a lot of consumers are introduced to credit without the knowledge needed to use it correctly.

To help bridge that gap, MMI created a new, user-friendly eBook called Getting the Credit You Deserve. It’s everything you’d ever need to know about credit, credit reports, and credit scores. This free download explains how credit reports are used, how they’re scored, and what consumers can do to build a strong credit history.

If you know someone just starting out with credit or simply want to know more about how to use credit wisely, download Getting the Credit You Deserve.

Jesse Campbell is the Content Manager at MMI, focused on creating and delivering valuable educational materials that help families through everyday and extraordinary financial challenges.

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