UPDATED: Thursday, May 2, 2013 - 1:47pm
(StatePoint) Many Americans understand low credit scores can lead to reduced buying power, but there is less recognition that high scores may indicate it's the "right time" to buy. So says a national survey conducted by freecreditscore.com, which is offering consumers three simple credit lessons to help them take control of their financial health:
o Check credit scores often. Credit score awareness can warn of possible identity theft. Currently, 49 percent of Americans check scores at least once yearly, while 22 percent never check.
o Big plans? Plan ahead. Significant expenses, including a home, automobile or loan, are the most common reasons for checking credit scores. Good scores can positively affect interest rates and save consumers thousands.
o A credit score can help inform purchase decisions. More than 75 percent of Americans would minimize credit use or postpone large purchases, or both, if they discovered they had low scores. Online tools such as the freecreditscore.com Score Planner show how credit-related actions can impact scores.