Have Cards, Will Travel

Millennials taking their credit building seriously

Sabrina Karl
Personal Finance Writer
Data whiz and visual storyteller


Most Americans appear to have gotten the memo on the importance of keeping tabs on their credit score. But it’s millennial adults who are most frequently checking – and also proactively managing – their scores.

New survey data from Discover finds that more than 8 in 10 U.S. adults reported checking their credit score at least once in the past year (82 percent), up from 72 percent in 2017. And many say they’ve reviewed their score multiple times in the year. 

Millennials lead the charge, with 70 percent indicating they made multiple checks over the past 12 months, with Generation X adults slightly lower at 67 percent. Fewer baby boomers reported multiple checks, but more than 6 in 10 said they reviewed their score more than once in the past year (61 percent).

Where the generations more significantly diverged is in the share who say they’re actively trying to boost their score. While it makes sense that millennials in the credit-building phase of life would be most motivated to do so, the difference is substantial. At 83 percent, a vast majority of millennials report being active score managers. Compare this to just two-thirds of Gen-X adults and a third of baby boomers who said the same.

See related: Millennials most likely to carry card balances, survey saysMore infographics

Discover’s survey was conducted online in mid-June 2018, among approximately 2,000 U.S. adults. The generational breakdowns were age 18-34 for millennials, age 35-54 for Generation X, and age 55 and older for baby boomers. The survey findings were released July 31.


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