Most consumers (89 percent) agree that credit plays an important role when buying a home or a car but only 73 percent recognize that identity fraud could affect their ability to get loans with favorable interest rates, according to a new survey from Experian Consumer Services.
In addition, more than half of big-ticket purchasers fail to check their credit at any point in the buying process, which leads to surprises when it comes time to close the deal.
“Identity fraud is real and affects consumers at very important times of life,” said Ken Chaplin, senior vice president of marketing for Experian Consumer Services.
“In today’s environment, it’s especially important that consumers check their credit regularly to spot signs of fraud, understand better what affects their credit and make decisions that will help them be in the best position possible when it comes time to buy their dream home or car.”
The key highlights of the research include:
- Many consumers live credit confident: Eighty-two percent of consumers report they feel confident about their credit status — only 14 percent say they worry their credit status might hurt their ability to make a home or vehicle purchase
- Credit affects when and what people buy: Sixteen percent of respondents delay purchasing a vehicle or home in order to improve their credit — 13 percent would purchase a more expensive car or home if they had better credit
- Checking credit plays a part in the buying process: Sixty percent of home buyers and 25 percent of car buyers check their credit as part of the purchase process
For those that check their credit:
- Thirteen percent were surprised by their credit scores
- Thirty-six percent said their credit scores were higher than expected
- Eleven percent report their credit scores were lower than expected
- Eleven percent found something negative on their credit report that they did not know about
Consumers can learn more by visiting Experian.com and watching the most recent commercials from Experian Consumer Services about how they can live credit confident™ when buying a car or securing a home loan.
The data points referenced above come from a study commissioned by ConsumerInfo.com® Inc., an Experian company, produced by research firm Edelman Berland and conducted as an online survey of 500 car and home buyers (250 car buyers, 250 home buyers). Buyers were defined as adults who had purchased within the past year or plan to purchase in the next year. Interviewing took place from January 27–30, 2014. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.4 percent.