Home > 2011 > Credit Score > Credit.com Survey: Only 50 Percent Have Recently Checked Their Credit Reports

Credit.com Survey: Only 50 Percent Have Recently Checked Their Credit Reports

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A new Credit.com survey showed that only 50 percent of respondents have checked their credit during the past year. These numbers aren’t great, considering you can get your credit reports for free each year. But it’s still good to know that half of consumers are staying on top of their credit lives. Here are some interesting tidbits about who’s checked their credit in the past year:

  • Gender: There appears to be equality. In the past year, 49.6 percent of males checked their credit and 50.6 percent of females did so.
  • Age: Around 60 percent of those between the ages of 25 and 49 checked their credit. And 51 percent of those between 50 and 64 did.
  • Income: Nearly 64 percent of those making $30,000-$39,999 per year checked their credit, followed closely by those making $50,000-plus per year.
  • Region: Over 54 percent of those in the South checked their credit, but only 43 percent of those in the Midwest did.

Nearly 27 percent of those in the survey said that it’s been more than a year since they checked their credit. And, unfortunately, almost 22 percent said they’ve never checked their credit before.

Stay tuned for more of our quarterly survey findings. Find out what consumers have to say about employer credit checks, marketing credit cards to teenagers, strategic default, online data privacy and more.

Hey, life is hectic and we all get busy. But try to get “check my credit reports” on your to-do list this year. I suggest that you request your free credit report from one of the agencies—Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian—every four months. Using this approach, you get a glimpse of what’s going on with your credit report throughout the year. The reports of the three bureaus will differ, so it’s not a fool-proof method by any means. But spacing them out at least gives you a chance of catching an error or spotting identity theft during the year. You can order your free credit reports once each year. You have the option of ordering your score after you receive your report.

You can also use Credit.com’s Free Credit Report Card to get a clear summary of where you stand in the five major areas that make up your score. You’ll get a credit score range and credit advice based on your Credit Report Card. It doesn’t have any impact on your credit score and it’s a great way to get an overview of your credit life.

This national RDD Probability Sample telephone poll was conducted for Credit.com by GfK Custom Research North America from January 14-16, 2011. A total of 1,004 interviews were completed, with roughly 531 female adults and 473 male adults. The margin of error is +/- 3 percentage points for the full sample.

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  • Terry

    My credit is in the tank, I have not used credit in nine years (but old charged-off debts get sold and the accounts get re-aged by the buyer, keeping them on my credit report), and I live on a poverty-level income (and therefore am not in a position to afford payments).

    So I can’t see any good reason to check my credit report, and one very bad reason: getting my credit report would trigger an address update (I assume I wouldn’t pass whatever online verification test is required to get it online), and the last time my credit report had an address update, another old creditor came out of the woodwork and sued me, leading to an unsustainable repayment agreement that failed when I lost my minimum wage job, leading in turn to a rent delinquency and involuntary move.

    Nope, don’t care to go through that sort of thing again, at least not until I actually have money available to repay.

    • kevin

      9 years? you do know the statute of limitations is 7 years right? hiding your head in the sand isn’t the best way to handle the situation. even if you can’t repay there are other ways to deal with your situation. you should check out creditboards.com, they helped me out a lot whne i was in your shoes. you ahve to want to help yourself though

    • Julie

      Terry,

      You really need to educate yourself on what the creditors can and can’t do. You’ve obviously been buffaloed by collection agencies, and it’s a common problem with them, that they will tell you anything if they think they can squeeze money out of you. Each state has a Statute of Limitations for different types of debt. The SOL cannot be extended just because a collection agency or junk debt buyer has recently bought the debt. It is based on when the account first went delinquent.

      It’s important to check your report and dispute the inaccuracies. You should check out creditboards.com forums section and learn what you CAN do to legally fix your reports and stop being bullied by old debt.

  • http://www.credit.com Gerri

    Terry –

    Collection accounts may only be reported for 7 years and 180 days from the day you first fell behind (leading up to the account being place for collection) with the original creditor. Debt buyers are prohibited from “reaging” accounts so they remain on your credit reports longer than that time period. If any collection accounts are being reported beyond that time period you may have a case for credit damage against those collectors.

    Secondly, it would be helpful to know what state you live in since the statute of limitations for these debts is state specific.

    Finally, trying to hide from collectors is not a good idea. If they don’t have your current address, they may try to get your location information from friends, relatives or neighbors. (Though they are aren’t supposed to discuss your debt with others, some do.) In addition, if they tried you sue you, they might do so at an old address which could result in a judgment against you. Finally, they have other ways of finding debtors besides using credit reports, so keeping an old address on your report isn’t the best way to avoid debt collectors.

  • JOHNNY W CROWSON

    I NEED TO KNOW WHAT BUREAU AND SO PLEASE REDUCE INTO ONE PAYMENT EACH MONTHLY AND SO HOW LONG WILL I HAVE TO PAID OFF THE BILLS, EMAIL ME NOW, JOHNNY WAYNE CROWSON

    • Deanna Templeton

      Hi Johnny –

      We’d love to help but I’m not sure exactly what you’re asking. It sounds like you may have an issue with a collection company or possibly a debt consolidation company but without the details, I’m guessing blind. If you can provide a little more detail and explain what you’re looking for, we’ll be much better able to help. You can also email our Credit.com’s team of credit experts at creditexperts@credit.com.

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