CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - Jul 24, 2012) - Friday marks the start of the London 2012 Summer Olympics and as thousands of athletes from around the world will compete in the games, TransUnion reminds consumers to take this time to start practicing the basics of "fiscal fitness" and strive for success in their personal "finance Olympics."
A new JZ Analytics survey commissioned by TransUnion revealed that nearly four out of ten (38 percent) Americans said they are not at all financially fit and are very unhappy with their financial situation. Forty-three percent said there was something financially they would like to work on, while only 11.8 percent said they were financially fit and happy in all areas of their financial situation.
"With today's changing and unsettling economic conditions, it is easy for consumers to become worried and confused about how to manage their finances," said Heather Battison, TransUnion's senior director responsible for consumer education. "Rather than get stressed out over their current financial fitness level, consumers should take the opportunity during The Olympic Games to make sure they have an understanding of the basics to help them go for the gold when it comes to financial health."
TransUnion offers the following tips for consumers to get financially fit and on the path to meeting their financial goals:
- Be punctual - Pay all your bills on time each month. Late payments, collections, and bankruptcies have the greatest negative effect on your credit scores.
- Check your credit reports regularly - Review your credit reports throughout the year to ensure you know they accurately reflect the credit history you've earned. It is your right to question information on your credit report that you don't recognize or that might not accurately reflect your credit history. Contact the creditor associated with the account or go to TransUnion.com to file an online credit dispute form.
- Manage your debts - Keep your credit card account balances below 35 percent of your available credit limits. For instance, if you have a credit card with a $1,000 limit, you should try to keep the balance owed below $350.
- Give yourself time - Time is one of the most significant factors that can help build healthy credit. Establish a long history of paying your bills on time and using credit responsibly. If in good standing, you may also want to keep the oldest account on your credit report open in order to lengthen your period of active credit use.
- Avoid excessive inquiries - A large number of credit inquiries occurred over a short period of time may be interpreted as a sign that you are opening numerous credit accounts due to financial difficulties or overextending yourself by taking on more debt than you can easily repay. Apply for new credit in moderation.
- Sharpen your basic skills - Visit www.Facebook.com/TransUnion and become a fan to receive ongoing tips and articles to help you hone your skills to better manage your personal finances and credit.
For more information on how to reach your financial goals, visit www.TransUnion.com.
JZ Analytics was commissioned by TransUnion to conduct an online survey of [1218 US adults] on 6/25/12-6/27/12. Using trusted interactive partner resources, thousands of adults were invited to participate in this interactive survey. Each invitation is password coded and secure so that one respondent can only access the survey one time. Using information based on census data, CIA fact books and exit polls, we use complex weighting techniques to best represent the demographics of the population being surveyed. Weighted variables may include age, race, gender, region, party, education, and religion. Based on a confidence interval of 95%, the margin of error for 1218 is +/- 2.9 percentage points.
TransUnion Interactive, Inc. is a consumer subsidiary of TransUnion. As a global leader in credit and information management, TransUnion creates advantages for millions of people around the world by gathering, analyzing and delivering information. For businesses, TransUnion helps improve efficiency, manage risk, reduce costs and increase revenue by delivering comprehensive data and advanced analytics and decisioning. For consumers, TransUnion provides the tools, resources and education to help manage their credit health and achieve their financial goals. Through these and other efforts, TransUnion is working to build stronger economies worldwide. Founded in 1968 and headquartered in Chicago, TransUnion employs associates in more than 32 countries on five continents. www.transunion.com Follow us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TransUnion.