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Consumers fail to score good marks in knowledge of credit scores

Mar 03, 2011 Brian Bradley

New data released by the Consumer Federation of America found that more than half of Americans struggle to meet a strong understanding of credit scores. According to the CFA, 60 percent of Americans received a passing grade when it comes to possessing a broad base of knowledge regarding their own credit scores and how the figure is measured. Only 44 percent of consumers know what figure constitutes a "good" credit score. According to the CFA, a good score is one above 750 on the 300 to 850 scale used by FICO. On the 501 to 900 scale used by VantageScore, anything over 800 is considered a good score. Accordingly, 49 percent of consumers rated their credit scores in that category. When it comes to obtaining their credit scores, 75 percent of consumers understood that only "sometimes" are reports free. However, that will change in July when the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill mandates consumers have access to one free credit report per year. Yet, future credit scores remain mixed, according to Barrett Burns, president of VantageScore Solutions. Burns states that 11 million consumers will experience improvements to their credit scores in the near future. However, 11 million consumers are likely to see declines.