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2/12/2013 - Few Americans bother checking their credit scores

Failing to check out credit scores regularly could cause headaches for consumers.

Even though credit is a fundamental component of how Americans buy items and establish themselves as a responsible consumer, the results of a recent survey suggest that a considerable number of people still want to know more about credit so they can better understand how it works and what it can do for them.

According to a recent poll conducted by credit reporting firm Experian, more than eight in 10 Americans say they have never checked their credit scores. In addition, 42% of consumers of say that even if they did check their credit score, they wouldn't know how to improve it even if they tried.

"The survey is an eye-opener to the fact that many people think about credit on a regular basis but don't feel empowered to take control of their credit scores," said Ken Chaplin, vice president of marketing for an affiliate of the credit reporting agency.

The poll also showed that among those who do know how to check their scores, nearly 30% said they didn't do so because they didn't think there was any real need to do so.

Having a strong credit profile can do a number of positive things for today's consumer, financial advisors say. This includes landing favorable lending terms with a mortgage servicer, a low interest rate on a car loan and it may even help people with their insurance. In a recent poll conducted by research firm Conning and Co., many homeowner's insurance agencies said that credit was used in setting up a homeowner's policy for customers.

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