Payments & Cards

Is a Higher Credit Score the Secret to Happiness in 2016

Wilmington, DE Feb 01, 2016 @Chase Slate 2016 Credit Outlook reveals Americans are increasingly dissatisfied with their credit health, but motivated to improve by the prospect of a happier life

One-third of Americans (32 percent) are dissatisfied with their credit score and 28 percent lack confidence that their current score can help them accomplish their goals, marking an increase in discontent since March 2015 (up from 24 percent and 19 percent, respectively). However, Americans do not plan to sit idly by and wait for their financial situation to sort itself out. Three-in-five (59 percent) say that a higher credit score plays an important role in making them happier, and the survey suggests that they are taking steps toward a more fulfilling life now.

Key Findings

  • Americans show resolve to improve. Eighty-two percent of those dissatisfied with their credit score would like to improve it over the next year, and 66 percent of all Americans – dissatisfied or not – wish to improve their score in 2016. More than one-third of Americans (35 percent) already have a plan they feel confident will allow them to succeed, and 69 percent feel that the choices they are making today will help their credit worthiness in the future.
  • Fear continues to keep some Americans in the dark. Two-in-five Americans (40 percent) do not know their current credit score, and at least 30 percent have not checked their score in the last year. Of those, 20 percent say they prefer not to know out of fear their score will be low, compared to only 13 percent affected by the fear factor in March 2015. Sixteen percent of those who have never checked their credit score also cite fear as a reason.
  • Women are not as credit-confident as men. Women are more likely to be dissatisfied with their credit score (36 percent vs. 28 percent) and more likely to lack confidence that their credit score can help them accomplish life goals (31 percent vs. 24 percent). Plus, married women are more likely to say that their partner’s credit score is better than their own (45 percent vs. 38 percent).
  • Millennials surpass Gen Xers in credit score satisfaction. Two-in-five Gen Xers (43 percent) are dissatisfied with their credit score, compared to 29 percent of dissatisfied millennials. Yet millennials are more motivated to improve their credit score with a plan they are confident will work (41 percent vs. 35 percent).

The tension Americans are feeling with their credit scores is actually very healthy because this singular metric can impact their ability to achieve and afford big financial goals. Your credit score impacts whether you can purchase a home or car, obtain a loan to go to school or start a business and qualify for better interest rates. You can often avoid paying high interest if you keep your credit in good standing. Take the time to understand the positive and negative factors impacting your credit score, identify areas for improvement and set a goal for yourself, especially if you anticipate needing a loan of any kind in the foreseeable future.

Farnoosh Torabi, Personal Finance Expert and Chase Slate Financial Education Partner

I am encouraged to see that so many Americans are motivated to improve their credit score this year, chiefly because healthy credit can open doors in the short-term, long-term and throughout one’s lifetime, really. With more men and women on the path to achieving their goals, that happier life they’re seeking could be closer within reach.

Pam Codispoti, President, Consumer Branded Cards, Chase Card Services

Chase Slate cardholders have access to the Credit Score & More feature that provides access to a Credit Dashboard with a comprehensive view of their credit health through free access to their monthly FICO® Score, along with the reasons behind the score, the top positive and negative factors impacting it and tailored tips for improving credit health overtime. The feature is available to online at Chase.com.

 

About the Chase Slate 2016 Credit Outlook Survey

The Chase Slate 2016 Credit Outlook Survey was commissioned on behalf of Chase Card Services to measure Americans’ understanding, attitudes and perceptions around credit and credit health. The survey was conducted via an online survey by Stratalys Research, an independent research company. Interviews were conducted from December 2 – 15, 2015 among a nationally representative sample of 1,000 respondents age 18 and older. The credibility interval for a sample size of 1,000 is +/- 3.6% and larger for subgroups.