Where credit is due: 14.6 million Aussies don’t know their credit score
Millions of Aussies are clueless about one of the more important numbers in their financial lives, according to new research by Finder.
A new Finder survey of 1,057 respondents revealed 73% of Australians – equivalent to 14.6 million people – don't know their credit score.
The research shows almost half (48%) of Australians have never checked their credit score, 7% are too scared to check and 6% don't know what a credit score is.
A credit score is a number that determines how credit-worthy you are – it's one of the factors that lenders use when deciding whether to lend you money. It's usually a number between 0 and 1,000.
Amy Bradney-George, personal finance expert at Finder, said knowing your credit score is more important than ever before.
"It isn't just a number – your credit score is a measure of how well you're managing your finances.
"Whether you are buying your first home, applying for a credit card or taking out a loan for a car, your credit score can help you understand how banks see you – and your chance of getting the loan.
"You can also use it as a tool to help keep you safe from identity theft."
Bradney-George said it was important to be extra vigilant in the days and weeks following the Optus data breach.
"An unexpected drop in your credit score, or declined credit applications, can be a telltale sign that your data has been compromised.
"Keep an eagle eye on the transactions on your bank statement and credit card – the sooner you spot any suspicious activity the quicker you can put a stop to it. Start by contacting your bank or lender."
Finder's data shows men (11%) are almost twice as likely as women (6%) to know their exact credit score.
More than 1 in 10 Australians (13%) admit they don't know how to check their score.
Bradney-George said the good news is that it is easier than ever to access your score for free.
"You can get your credit score through the free Finder app in about 3 minutes.
"The app will alert you if your score has changed and also if there are any defaults or other infringements on your credit file.
"Banks already know your score – shouldn't you?"
The 3 credit reporting bureaus in Australia also offer a copy of your credit report every 3 months if you request it online or over the phone.
The research found just 8% of Aussies know their score exactly, while 1 in 5 (19%) have a rough idea.
"Aside from your credit score, the Finder app also works as a money management tool so you can see exactly where your money is going and make better financial decisions," Bradney-George said.
|Do you know your credit score?|
|No, I've never checked||48%|
|No, I don't know how to check||13%|
|No, I'm too scared to check||7%|
|I don't know what a credit score is||6%|
|Yes, but I only have a rough idea||19%|
|Yes, I know my credit score||8%|
|Source: Finder survey of 1,057 respondents, September 2022|
- Finder's Consumer Sentiment Tracker is a monthly recurring nationally representative survey of more than 30,000 respondents.
- The Consumer Sentiment Tracker is owned by Finder and operated by Qualtrics, an SAP company.
- The survey has been running monthly since May 2019.
Get your credit score for free in 2 minutes by downloading the Finder app.