Just 33% of Americans Checked Their Credit Reports in the Past Year, CompareCards Report Shows

Despite an increase in credit card fraud attempts during the pandemic, only 33% of Americans checked their credit reports in the past year. This represents a drop from 2019, when 39% checked their credit reports, and 37% in 2018, according to credit card comparison website CompareCards.

This is the third year CompareCards has conducted this survey, following the massive Equifax data breach that occurred four years ago.

Key findings

Just 33% of Americans checked their credit reports in the past year, down from 39% a year ago and 37% the year before. Most troubling, just 20% of those aged 75 and older reviewed their credit report in the last year, placing them at an increased risk of fraud.

Cardholders are taking fewer actions to prevent identity theft than they were a year ago — though most claim to be more diligent about looking for signs of identity theft. Fewer consumers are checking their credit reports, reviewing bank statements, changing banking passwords and checking their credit score in 2020, compared to 2019.

Nearly 1 in 2 people (47%) with a credit or debit card have provided their entire Social Security number in an online form in the past month. When we conducted this survey in August 2019, just 40% had done so.

47% of cardholders have been notified that their personal information was exposed in a data breach over the past year. Of that group, 14% said it happened more than once.

Cardholders taking less action to prevent identity theft than previous years

Despite having the ability to check their credit reports for free once a week since April, just a little over a third of consumers did so at any time over the past year.

41% of cardholders weren’t aware they are currently able to check their credit report for free weekly due to the pandemic.

However, when informed of this opportunity, 28% of consumers admitted to not planning to take advantage of this added allowance.

When it comes to keeping on top of their credit scores, only half of credit or debit cardholders check their credit score every single month, and a third admit that they don’t always review their card or bank statements each month to ensure their accuracy.

Just 41% of women do so monthly, whereas 59% of men do.

When it comes to different generations’ credit score habits, Gen Xers are the best about checking their credit score monthly, followed by millennials.

Pandemic fatigue may be distracting focus from identity theft

There is a lot to worry about in 2020, between the global pandemic, economic downturn and rampant job loss.

Half of cardholders reported feeling more worried about their personal information being stolen than they were last year, but in 2019, more consumers (58%) were worried about this theft than the year prior.

Similarly, in 2020, 84% agreed that data breaches are becoming more common, which dropped from 91% in 2019.

Consumers hesitant about providing personal information online, but most do it anyway

Nearly 1 in 2 people (47%) with a credit or debit card provided their entire Social Security number in an online form in the past month.

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