Millennials are no strangers to watching numbers. Lives today are affected by a vast number of online and social media statistics — likes, followers, scores and ratings. However, a new survey suggests that despite the time and attention this generation devotes to social media, they are more focused on the importance of a very different number: their credit scores.
The new survey from Experian was conducted to see how those ages 23 to 38 rank their credit scores in importance relative to other numbers in their lives, including the number of followers they have on social media. While the survey found that online and social media numbers command millennials’ constant attention (19 percent say it’s an obsession), 49 percent of those surveyed believe a credit score impacts their life the most. Fifty-nine percent worry about their credit score and 52 percent would be disappointed if their score went down.
The numbers reflect their concern. In the past five years, members of this generation have seen their average FICO Score grow by 21 points, increasing from 647 in the second quarter of 2014 to 668 in the same quarter of 2019, according to Experian data. This is the largest increase of any generation for the same time period and shows that millennials are working to establish and build their credit.
Though concerns over some scores and their online presence are causing a touch of anxiety — 51 percent of millennials surveyed feel bad when their numbers go down, they can easily access help to improve their credit scores, say experts.
“Proud scorekeeping millennials often have low credit scores due to short credit histories, but there are steps they can take to better manage their scores,” says Rod Griffin, director of public education for Experian.
Paying credit card bills on time and only making purchases that you know you can afford to pay back are effective steps you can take to gradually improve your credit score. But in the age of immediate results, you may want to check out tools with the potential to increase your credit more quickly – even immediately. For example, the free online resource Experian Boost allows consumers to add positive payment history from utility and cell phone payments to their Experian credit reports, which can possibly improve one’s FICO Score in real-time.
To learn more about credit and finance topics, visit experian.com/education.
“Ultimately, a good credit score has a greater lifelong impact than social media likes and followers and putting emphasis on monitoring this score will set you up for a successful financial future,” says Griffin.