Could your credit score be the secret to happiness?
It turns out that having a handle on your credit worthiness can have a positive impact on your money behavior, overall sense of self — and even your love life.
Nearly three-quarters of those who checked their scores more than seven times in a year said that such frequent — some might say compulsive — reviews changed their behavior for the better, according to a new survey by Discover. And even more said their score improved during the year.
"There's a strong correlation" between checking your score and improving your credit behavior, said Laks Vasudevan, a vice president at Discover. "You gain a better understanding of what factors into a score. It's that understanding and awareness that helps you manage and maintain good credit."
Alternatively, nearly one-third of consumers said they have not checked their credit score at all in the last year, according to a separate survey by WalletHub.
More consumers increasingly are aware of the big part their credit score plays in their financial lives, from their ability to get approved for a new charge card, buy or lease a car, rent an apartment, and in particular, determine their mortgage rate. The higher the score, the better the rate for which consumers will qualify.
Millennials, ages 18 to 34, checked their scores more frequently than their generational counterparts, Discover said, which polled 2,000 consumers in March.
Millennials also reported having a more personal connection to their credit. Nearly half of millennials said they associate their credit standing with their self-worth, compared with 43 percent of Generation X and 30 percent of baby boomers.
Those with the highest scores not only feel better about themselves, but they are also more likely to form long-lasting committed relationships, according to research by the Federal Reserve Board.
Credit scores reveal an individual's relationship skill and level of commitment, the Fed report said, and well-matched credit scores may bode well for a successful love match.
To that point, of those polled in the WalletHub survey, about half said they wouldn't marry someone with bad credit.
Discover is the latest company to offer free score access through its Credit Scorecard — to any consumer. not just for cardholders. Other card issuers offering free access to everyone or to their customers include Barclaycard US, Capital One, Citibank and First Bankcard.
You can also check your credit scores on Bankrate.com, Credit.com, CreditKarma.com, CreditSesame.com and WalletHub.com.