While many consumers understand how important of a role credit plays in buying a car or home, most don’t recognize just how much identity fraud can affect their chances with favorable interest rates.
According to a survey of 500 car and home buyers from Experian Consumer Services, more than half of big-ticket purchasers failed to check their credit at any point in the buying process, which led to surprises when it came time to close the deal.
“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,” Ken Chaplin, senior vice president of marketing for Experian Consumer Services.
Eighty-two percent of the survey’s respondents said they feel confident about their credit while 14% worry their credit status might hurt their ability to make a home or vehicle purchase.
For those that check their credit, Experian found that 11% found something negative on their credit report that they did not know about. Thirty-six percent said their credit scores were higher than expected and 11% found that their scores were lower than expected.
According to the survey, 16% of respondents said they would delay purchasing a vehicle or home in order to improve their credit. Thirteen percent would purchase a more expensive car or home if they had better credit, the data showed.