When it comes to your physical health, it’s important to “know your numbers”: blood pressure, cholesterol and BMI are among the short list. The same is true for your financial well-being. There are markers along the road to better financial health, and it’s important to check your credit score and find out how your habits can contribute to it.

In the 2017 Credit Health Survey, commissioned by Discover, nearly three quarters of respondents checked their credit score more than 12 times throughout the past year.


If you check your credit score more often, you may be able to create and maintain the good habits that lead to a better credit score.

Using What You Know

Of those who check their scores regularly, the primary motivation was to maintain or improve their credit score, in addition to concern over identity theft, the desire to apply for new loans and more.


In order to take beneficial steps for your credit score, you need to know both what that number is and what goes into it.

Two fairly important components to your score include:

  • On-time bill payment each month is a basic component of a healthy credit score.
  • Your credit utilization ratio is the amount of debt you’re carrying in relation to the overall amount of credit that is available to you. Keeping this number low is a smart financial health move.

These aren’t the only components, but they can have a significant impact. Ultimately, the more you know about your credit score, the more you’ll be empowered to build responsible borrowing habits.

Adapting Your Behaviors

In the same way that knowledge is power when it comes to improving your physical health, when you check your credit score, this can help you develop and sustain the behaviors needed to maintain and improve it over time.

Positive actions you can take include:

  • paying your bills on time
  • keeping credit card balances low
  • paying off debt rather than moving it around
  • diversifying the types of credit you use
  • responsibly opening new accounts

And, in yet another parallel with physical health, the sooner you start, the better. Building your credit score is a topic you’ll care about across your entire financial life. The best time to work on improving it is before you need it — before you’re ready to purchase that house or apply for a loan.


Know your credit score and establish responsible habits in your 20s, and in your 60s you’ll have fewer surprises.

About the Survey

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from a YouGov Plc survey conducted on behalf of Discover Financial Services. Total sample size was 2,186 adults (ages 18+). Fieldwork was undertaken March 15-16, 2017. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all U.S. adults. The maximum margin of sampling error was ±2 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence.

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