A few credit misconceptions cleared up

Apparently in honor of it being National Financial Literacy Awareness Month, a survey was recently conducted by TrueCredit.com, a credit consumer web site owned by TransUnion, one of the credit score issuers.

It had the famed polling company, Zogby International, poll 2,557 adults online, and since it seems that there are still a lot of credit card misconceptions out there, here are a few of the more salient findings:

  • Some 92% of the respondents believed that a credit score is included on a credit report. (You would think so, yes, but no. Just about everything else is on your report, however, as in all of the factors that lead to having a good or bad score.)

  • 84 consumers (five out of six people) didn't know the current average interest rate on a credit card. (Heck, can you blame them, with the rates changing upward all the time? I follow this stuff, and I didn't know. I thought it would be higher, but it's 13.6%)

  • Over half the people weren't sure how long a late payment would remain on their credit card. (Now that one I knew -- 7 years. But anyone with a history of late payments should take heart. The more distance you have between those late payments, the less they'll impact your score.)