11:05 AM

TransUnion Study Finds Two Out of Three Americans Stressed Out About Finances

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - Apr 5, 2011) - As the stock market, unemployment rates, and gas prices continue to bounce up and down, many Americans say they find themselves stressed out about their personal finances. During National Financial Literacy Month this April, TransUnion is continuing to educate consumers on the basics needed to help reduce the stress of managing their finances and credit.

According to a recent Zogby International survey commissioned by TransUnion, two-thirds of adults (65%) say they are either always (21%) or sometimes (44%) stressed by money and finances, while a third (34%) say they are rarely (28%) or are never (6%) stressed by it.

"With today's changing and turbulent economic conditions, it is easy for consumers to become worried and confused about how to manage their finances," said Heather Battison, director of education for TransUnion's consumer products. "Rather than get stressed out over financial worries, consumers should take the opportunity during Financial Literacy Month to make sure they have an understanding of the basics to achieving healthy credit and personal finances."

TransUnion encourages consumers to take time this Financial Literacy Month and give their credit and personal finances a check-up. The following tips can help guide consumers on the path to healthy credit and make managing finances less stressful:

  • Be punctual - Pay all your bills on time each month. Late payments, collections, and bankruptcies have the greatest negative effect on your credit scores.

  • Check your credit reports regularly - Review your credit reports throughout the year to ensure you know they accurately reflect the credit history you've earned. It is your right to question information on your credit report that you don't recognize or that might not be accurate. Contact the creditor associated with the account or go to TransUnion.com to file an online dispute form.

  • Manage your debts - Keep your credit card account balances below 35% of your available credit limits. For instance, if you have a credit card with a $1,000 limit, you should try to keep the balance owed below $350.

  • Give yourself time - Time is one of the most significant factors that can build healthy credit. Establish a long history of paying your bills on time and using credit responsibly. You may also want to keep the oldest account on your credit report open in order to lengthen your period of active credit use.

  • Avoid excessive inquiries - A large number of inquiries occurred over a short period of time may be interpreted as a sign that you are opening numerous credit accounts due to financial difficulties or overextending yourself by taking on more debt than you can easily repay. Apply for new credit in moderation.

  • Sharpen your basic skills - Visit www.Facebook.com/TransUnion and become a fan to receive ongoing tips and articles to help you hone your skills to better manage your personal finances and credit.

Survey Methodology

Zogby International was commissioned by TransUnion to conduct an online survey of 2,043 adults from 2/18/11 to 2/21/11. A sampling of Zogby International's online panel, which is representative of the adult population of the U.S., was invited to participate. Slight weights were added to region, party, age, race, religion, gender and education to more accurately reflect the population. The margin of error is +/- 2.2 percentage points. Margins of error are higher in sub-groups. The MOE calculation is for sampling error only. Please note, for the purposes of this report, numbers have been rounded to the nearest percent and may not sum to 100% as a result.

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 Follow us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TransUnion.