Think what you want about millennials, but a new survey suggests most of them place higher importance on their credit score than their social media follower count. According to a recent survey by Experian, 59% of millennials believe the most important rating to increase is credit scores, not social media approval.
Instagram follower counts came in second as the most important “score” to increase, followed by Twitter followers, YouTube subscribers, Facebook friends, Uber/Lyft/Via ratings, Snapchat friends, and video game kill scores. While 19% of the respondents said social media was an obsession, 49% said credit score was the rating that impacts their life most.
More than half (53%) said proactively increasing credit scores is important, while even more (59%) worry about their scores. About half the respondents are disappointed if their scores go down.
That worry is paying off — Experian says that, on average, millennials have seen their credit scores jump by 21 points over the last five years, the largest increase of any generation during that time period.
The survey, which included 2,000 consumers between ages 23 and 38, offers insight into the thoughts of the generation growing up with both social media and the Great Recession and the student loan crisis — and comes as the biggest social media networks are considering eliminating the like counts. Facebook and Instagram are currently testing eliminating the like count on individual posts, allowing only the original user to see the number of likes.
That may prevent some comparison and a sinking self-esteem, but the test doesn’t include hiding the user’s total follower count. According to the Experian survey, 82% have checked their credit score in the last three months — the same number of respondents that checked their Facebook follower count in the same time frame.
“Proud scorekeeping millennials can often have low credit scores due to short credit histories, but there are steps they can take to better manage their scores,” Rod Griffin, director of public education for Experian, said. “Ultimately, a good credit score has a greater lifelong impact than social media likes and followers, and putting the emphasis on monitoring this score will set millennials up for a successful financial future.”
For those millennials worried about that credit score, Experian recommends those without a credit history open a line of credit, along with paying bills on time and using Experian Boost to add utility payments to your credit score.
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