Millennials may have ambitious aspirations, but a survey commissioned by banking and payment services company Discover indicates the group has a long way to go when it comes to financial responsibility.
In the national survey, which polled 2,000 millennials ages 18 and 32, approximately 96 percent of those who own credit cards consider themselves financially responsible. Yet 44 percent confessed to some irresponsible credit behaviors, including: either missing a payment, being required to pay a late fee, exceeding their credit limit or even having to work out a re-payment plan with their credit card issuer.
More surprisingly, 80 percent of respondents who were non-cardholders also claimed to be financially responsible, but only one out of four actually knew their credit score.
“It is important that millennials be aware of their credit information because it influences how lenders, auto dealers and others evaluate them,” said Ryan Scully, vice president of new cardmember acquisition at Discover, in a company release detailing the survey results. “With our Discover it cards, we give cardmembers their FICO Credit Score for free, alerts to help them manage their account and access to Discover’s Credit Resource Center which provides content on credit education and best practices.”
If these results are any indication of how financially responsible millennials really are, providing additional knowledge and resources about credit to people within this age group may be a good idea.
The survey found that fewer than 20 percent of non-cardholders had checked their credit report or score within the last six months, while 37 percent of those identifying as cardholders said using credits cards was the way in which they learned to manage credit responsibly.
Good news for issuers is that the majority of the millennials surveyed are still actively applying for lines of credit. While 63 percent of those polled had two or more credit cards, 52 percent said a person’s first credit card should be acquired between the ages of 18 and 22.