SocietyOne survey: Most Australians value, but are still in the dark, on credit
A SocietyOne survey of 1,596 customers on credit scores revealed that while almost all respondents believed knowing their score was absolutely critical to improving their finances, the majority had no clue what their score was before signing up to SocietyOne.
A whopping 97.7 percent of respondents thought it was important for Australians to know their credit score, 93.3 percent said they found it useful to have finally learnt their score through SocietyOne, and 73.5 percent also wished to improve their credit score and overall finances.
Yet despite these stated beliefs, only 32.8 percent of respondents knew their credit score before being encouraged to check it with SocietyOne, and 60.9 percent were then surprised by the result once they received their score, highlighting a major gap between knowledge and action.
Most respondents (66.3 percent) said they had improved their credit score since becoming a SocietyOne customer, 23 percent of respondents said they had already used their score to get a better deal on a lending product, and 43.3 percent wanted even more tips on how to improve their score further.
The SocietyOne credit score draws on data from the Experian credit bureau. SocietyOne’s 200,000+ credit score customers also benefit from deeper insights and access to exclusive content designed to help educate customers on credit scores and broader financial topics.
The SocietyOne survey was performed immediately prior to SocietyOne’s acquisition by MONEYME, a digital lender and non-bank challenger that is equally as passionate about the financial wellbeing of its customers.
Jonathan Chan, Chief Operations Officer at MONEYME, said: “A credit score is an excellent indicator of financial health, and many Australians appear to understand its importance.
“However, half of all Australians still have not applied for their score to know where they stand when applying for credit or a loan. And finding out your score is also only the first step.
“Understanding what actions and habits have impacted your score can help to guide what you need to do to improve it. Credit scores are dynamic and can change with certain types of financial behaviour, so we also encourage Australians to regularly check their credit report to proactively manage your financial health.
“The fact that so many of our customers have improved their credit score since signing up with us shows that knowledge about and engagement with your score and overall finances can help you to improve your finances overall, whether that be by getting a better deal on a loan, or creating good financial habits.”
Experian General Manager of Credit Services, Tristan Taylor, said: “While improving your credit score takes time and careful management, there are ways people can proactively manage the health of it.
“Don’t forget that a credit score is simply a view of your financial health and the way you work with credit. Keeping on top of your repayments and choosing the right financial products for your situation are important factors in maintaining a strong credit score.
“Tips on how to improve credit scores can be found at CreditSmart, an industry initiative developed by credit experts to help Australians understand how credit reporting works and how to look after credit health.”
Key factors that can help to influence a credit score include:
- The type of lender you have applied to
- How well you’ve kept up with your repayments
- The credit limit of each of your credit products
- The type of product you have applied for
- The number of credit applications you make
- Any negative events, such as defaults, judgements or bankruptcies