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Car and home buyers underestimate the impact of identity fraud on securing a good interest rate, survey reveals

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SOURCE Experian

Experian Consumer Services invites people to live credit confident™ and be part of everyday credit conversations that could affect their lives

COSTA MESA, Calif., Feb. 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- 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.

Survey methodology
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.

Experian Consumer Services
The Experian Consumer Services division provides credit monitoring and other informational products, such as identity protection, to millions of consumers via the Internet. The organization enables consumers to monitor their credit reports online, check their credit scores and protect against identity theft. Its products include Experian Credit TrackerSM and ProtectMyID®. Experian Consumer Services has established integrated, cobranded relationships with leading online financial destinations that provide consumers with a broad range of comprehensive online financial products and information essential to managing one's financial life. For more information, visit http://www.experian.com.

This press release is provided for general guidance and information. It is not intended as, nor should it be construed to be legal, financial or other professional advice. Please consult with your attorney or financial advisor to discuss any legal issues or financial issues involved with credit decisions.

About Experian
Experian® is a leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients around the world. The Group helps businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. Experian also helps individuals to check their credit report and credit score, and protect against identity theft.

Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended March 31, 2013, was US$4.7 billion. Experian employs approximately 17,000 people in 40 countries and has its corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; California, US; and Sao Paulo, Brazil.

For more information, visit http://www.experianplc.com.

Experian and the Experian marks used herein are service marks or registered trademarks of Experian Information Solutions, Inc. Other product and company names mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.

Contacts:

Alyssa King
Edelman PR
1 323 202 1899 (office)
1 323 681 9196 (cell)
alyssa.king@edelman.com

Becky Frost
Experian Consumer Services
1 949 202 7296 (cell)
becky.frost@experianinteractive.com

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