13:02 PM

TransUnion Study Finds Consumers Plan to Get More Financially Fit in 2011

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - January 20, 2011) - A recent TransUnion survey on consumers' 2011 financial goals found that two out of three consumers said they plan to improve their financial position this year. Effective budgeting, saving more and paying down credit card debt were the top three methods selected to achieve this goal. These results validate what consumers have done in managing credit card debt over the last 12 months. Tracked by TransUnion's Trend Data, the average credit card borrower debt dropped 11.5 percent from the 3Q09 to 3Q10 ($5,612 to $4,964). 

The survey, conducted by Zogby International, also found that a quarter of the respondents had no financial goals set for 2011, while eight percent said they plan to improve their credit standing. While the recession was officially over in June of 20091, nearly half (49 percent) of consumers felt 2010 was more financially stressful than 2009, possibly indicating a lag-effect when it comes to personal finances.

"One positive aspect of the past recession and moving forward in 2011 is that consumers see the need to better manage and control their credit and finances," said Heather Battison, director of education for TransUnion consumer products. "The new year is the perfect time for consumers to appraise their current financial situation and make goals for where they want to be at the end of 2011. TransUnion.com offers tools to help consumers understand their credit information, manage their debt load, protect their identity -- and most of all, help them achieve their financial goals for this year."

TransUnion provides the following five tips to help consumers start 2011 off on the right financial foot:

  • Check your credit reports every three months: The first step to robust credit health is to recognize which bad financial habits, such as late payments, you have and how they are represented on your credit report. Regular check-ups will also help you guard against identity theft. 

  • Know your score: The higher your score, the better rate you are likely to receive.

  • Create a monthly spending plan and stick to it: This simple commitment can help you start a savings plan and will help keep you from building up unmanageable debt. Also, setting aside a fixed amount each month or week will guarantee funds in the case of emergency, while helping you develop financial discipline.

  • File a dispute. It is your right to question information on your credit report that you don't recognize or that might not be accurate. Online dispute forms can be found on TransUnion.com.  

  • Guard against identity theft: To help guard against this increasingly prevalent crime, sign up for a credit monitoring service that will quickly alert you to any changes in your report.

Survey Methodology

Zogby International was commissioned by Transunion to conduct an online survey of 2147 adults. The surveys were completed between December 20 and December 23, 2010.

A sampling of Zogby International's online panel, which is representative of the adult population of the US, was invited to participate. Slight weights were added to region, party, age, race, religion, gender, education to more accurately reflect the population. The margin of error is +/- 2.2 percentage points. Margins of error are higher in sub-groups.

1 National Bureau of Economic Research

About TransUnion

TransUnion Interactive, Inc. is a consumer subsidiary of TransUnion. As a global leader in credit and information management, TransUnion creates advantages for millions of people around the world by gathering, analyzing and delivering information. For businesses, TransUnion helps improve efficiency, manage risk, reduce costs and increase revenue by delivering comprehensive data and advanced analytics and decisioning. For consumers, TransUnion provides the tools, resources and education to help manage their credit health and achieve their financial goals. Through these and other efforts, TransUnion is working to build stronger economies worldwide. Founded in 1968 and headquartered in Chicago, TransUnion employs associates in more than 25 countries on five continents. www.transunion.com