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Credit Fog

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An annual poll has found that consumers indicated credit scores would rise if one paid off a large credit card balance — up from 62% in 2005 to 67% in 2008 — and would fall if one made a monthly credit card payment more than 30 days late — up from 71% to 78%. From a list including Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, the percentage of respondents recognizing that Tenneco is not a credit bureau — up from 47% to 54%. The survey by Opinion Research Corporation conducted for Consumer Federation of America and Washington Mutual Bank, also found that 28%, up from 24% in 2007, knew that 700 was the approximate lowest credit score that would qualify one for a low-rate mortgage; and 26%, compared to 19% in 2007, selected 400 or 500 as the score (incorrect) qualifying for a low-rate mortgage. While more than three-quarters correctly understand that making a monthly payment more than 30 days late lowers one’s score, less than three-fifths know that maxing out a credit card by using the entire credit line also lowers scores. For a free annual credit report visit: “http://www.annualcreditreport.com”:http://www.annualcreditreport.com

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