While many consumers understand how important of a role creditplays in buying a car or home, most don't recognize just how muchidentity fraud can affect their chances with favorable interestrates.

According to a survey of 500 car and home buyers from Experian Consumer Services, more than half of big-ticketpurchasers failed to check their credit at any point in the buyingprocess, which led to surprises when it came time to close thedeal.

“In today's environment, it's especially important thatconsumers check their credit regularly to spot signs of fraud,understand better what affects their credit and make decisions thatwill help them be in the best position possible when it comes timeto buy their dream home or car,” Ken Chaplin, senior vice presidentof marketing for Experian Consumer Services.

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