Millions of Australians admit they don’t know one of the most important numbers in their financial lives - their credit score.
A new Finder survey of 1,057 respondents revealed 73 per cent of Australians – equivalent to 14.6 million people – didn’t know their credit score.
The research found almost half (48 per cent) of Aussies had never checked their credit score, 7 per cent were too scared to check, and 6 per cent didn’t know what a credit score was.
Also read: My credit score sucks. How can I fix it?
What is a credit score?
Your credit score determines whether or not you are a good candidate to receive credit. It’s used by lenders like the big banks when deciding whether to lend you money.
A credit score is generally a number between zero and 1,000.
Finder personal finance expert Amy Bradney-George said knowing your credit score was more important than ever.
“It isn’t just a number – your credit score is a measure of how well you're managing your finances,” Bradney-George said.
“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.”
Optus customers need to be vigilant
“An unexpected drop in your credit score, or declined credit applications, can be a telltale sign that your data has been compromised,” she said.
“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.”
How to check your credit score
Checking your credit score is free so there is no reason not to find out.
“Banks already know your score – shouldn’t you?” Bradney-George said.
Here’s where you can get your credit score:
The three credit-reporting bureaus in Australia also offer a copy of your credit report every three months if you request it online or over the phone.