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Only ⅓ of Australians across credit score: SocietyOne

The vast majority of the country is unaware of its financial standing, according to new data by the online lender.

The findings, which are derived from a survey of 1,596 SocietyOne customers over the first half of March, noted that while fewer than one-third (32.8 per cent) of Australians were aware of their credit score, it was almost universally agreed that knowing the financial assessment was valuable. 

According to SocietyOne, almost 98 per cent of respondents expressed that they believed it was important for Australians to know their credit score. 

The survey also reported that close to three-quarters (73.5 per cent) of respondents had ambitions to improve their credit score and overall finances, and that roughly 61 per cent were, in fact, surprised by their results.

Jonathan Chan, the chief operations officer with non-bank lender MoneyMe, said that while the importance of a credit score is understood, there’s a distinct cohort of Australians who are not applying for their ratings.

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In March, MoneyMe successfully completed its formal takeover of SocietyOne.

“Understanding what actions and habits have impacted your score can help to guide what you need to do to improve it,” Mr Chan said. 

“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.”

Experian general manager of credit services Tristan Taylor added that credit scores can be actively improved upon. 

SocietyOne’s credit score is said to draw on data provided by Experian.

“While improving your credit score takes time and careful management, there are ways people can proactively manage the health of it,” Mr Taylor said.  

“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.” 

Yet, this suggestion of a nationwide reluctance to discover credit scores comes at a time of increasing uncertainty for borrowers meeting repayments. 

According to a Mortgage Choice survey of 1,000 Australians released late last month, more than half of respondents were not aware of their current home loan rate. 

The survey also found that nearly one out of every two (48 per cent) borrowers contacted expressed concerns over a 2 per cent rise in interest rates.

David Zammit, national sales director, Mortgage Choice said at the time that a 2 per cent rate rise would nearly double the interest borrowers are charged each month.

The Westpac-Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment also reported that, over May, consumers were “bracing for a steep rise in interest rates”, with confidence having reached its lowest level since August 2020.

[Related: Time to fix rates or risk mortgage stress, report warns]

Only ⅓ of Australians across credit score: SocietyOne
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