Everyone has an opinion on what makes them happy, and for many people, it seems having a good credit score is part of the formula. Three out of five American adults (59%) said a high credit score is important to their happiness, and the majority of Americans are trying to get better ones, according to a survey from Chase Card Services.
The Chase Slate 2016 Credit Outlook Survey was conducted online in December and includes responses from a nationally representative sample of 1,000 American adults. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.6% and is larger for subgroups.
About a third of respondents (32%) said they’re dissatisfied with their scores, up from 24% in March 2015, and 28% said they don’t think their current score can help them accomplish their financial goals (up from 19%). Regardless of whether respondents were pleased with the score they have, 66% said they want to improve their credit scores in 2016.
Have You Checked Your Credit Score?
Of course, if you want good credit scores and are working toward them, you have to measure your progress. Yet, nearly a third (30%) of those surveyed haven’t checked their credit score in the last year, and 40% don’t know their current score. Keep in mind, the only way to know if you have good credit or find out what you need to do to get it is to check your reports and scores regularly. (You can do so by pulling your credit reports for free each year at AnnualCreditReport.com and viewing your credit scores for free each month on Credit.com.) Remember, even if you had good credit in the past, scores change constantly, so it’s a good idea not to let too much time elapse between credit checks. (You can learn more about when you should check your free credit report here.)
Improving credit takes time, especially if you have a credit history dotted with negative entries, like late payments or collection accounts. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible. If good credit will help you be happier, focus on the basics, like using very little of the available credit on your credit cards, making all payments on time and only applying for new credit as you truly need it. Keep an eye on your scores for sudden changes, too — that could be a sign of credit report errors or identity theft, and you’ll want to immediately address such issues. (You can find more information about addressing errors on your credit reports here.)
More on Credit Reports & Credit Scores:
- What’s a Good Credit Score?
- How Do I Dispute an Error on My Credit Report?
- How Credit Impacts Your Day-to-Day Life