14:05 PM

TrueCredit.com Survey Reveals What Caught Americans by Surprise in 2008

CHICAGO, January 28, 2009 –From the housing market collapse to the alarming unemployment rates, Americans have dealt with numerous economic surprises in the past year. According to a new TrueCredit.com survey, conducted by Zogby International, the majority of respondents (53 percent) believe the $700 billion government bailout of Wall Street financial institutions was the most unexpected event of 2008, while four in ten say it was Governor Sarah Palin’s appointment as Republican VP candidate, and more than a quarter of those polled (28 percent) call the credit crisis the most shocking.

“This past year showed Americans that anything can happen, and emphasized the importance of knowing where they stand at all times,” said Lucy Duni, vice president of consumer education for TrueCredit.com by TransUnion. “Consumers should take a proactive role in managing and maintaining their credit to ensure they are prepared for unforeseen events like losing their job, or racking up debt.”

The TrueCredit.com survey also found that while most people (63 percent) say they know their credit score, more than half (54 percent) say it’s been at least six months since they’ve checked their credit report. Moreover, nearly one in ten say they’ve never checked it.

“While knowing your score is important, understanding what’s on your report is even more vital, as it provides consumers with a holistic view of their credit standing and can also help protect against identity theft and fraud,” added Duni. “To help consumers protect themselves, TrueCredit.com’s credit monitoring service sends timely alerts about critical changes to a consumer’s credit report.”

Many believe the outlook for 2009 is just as bleak as 2008, with one-third of those polled saying they would consider either a soaring stock market or surging home sales among the most unexpected events they could foresee occurring this year. 

The events of 2008 reiterate the importance of taking the necessary precautions to safeguard your finances, as this is truly one of the best defenses for fighting the unexpected.

For the full results, and to learn more about credit management, log onto www.gotruecredit.com and visit the learning center.

Survey Methodology

Zogby International was commissioned by TrueCredit.com to conduct an online survey of 2,889 adults. A sampling of Zogby International's online panel, which is representative of the adult population of the U.S., was invited to participate from 1/14/09 to 1/16/09. Slight weights were added to region, party, age, race, religion, gender and education to more accurately reflect the population. The margin of error is +/- 1.9 percentage points. Margins of error are higher in sub-groups.