DALLAS — A staggering 53% of Americans have been denied approval for a new credit card, loan, or even a new car because of poor credit, according to a new survey.

The survey, commissioned by the credit score service ScoreSense and conducted by YouGov, dove into the causes of this economic issue, and pinpointed two main reasons. The first was ignorance. The survey reveals that 23% of millennials don’t know their credit score at all. The same could be said for 54% of generation Zers, 18% of generation Xers, and 20% of baby boomers.

Another common detriment to personal credit scores was credit card usage. The survey shows 38% of Americans carry three or more credit cards, while 13% of baby boomers have six or more. But there’s a problem with Americans not using their credit cards enough, with 28% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 54 not owning any credit cards at all. To earn a better credit score, individuals should maintain three credit cards maximum, experts say.

“Your credit score follows you wherever you go, and can either open or close important doors for you—yet too many Americans have no idea what their credit score is, or what steps they can take to fully understand it,” notes Sanjay Baskaran, CEO of One Technologies, developer of Scoresense, in a statement.

The study also shows that a quarter of both millennials and generation Xers who have a credit card carry $4,000 in credit card debt every month. A large factor in credit score is credit utilization, or one’s credit card balance compared to their credit card limits. Having a lower balance and a higher credit limit is ideal.

Among other findings, 56% of Americans in romantic relationships think that they have higher credit scores than their spouses or partners. The study also revealed that 56% of Americans think delinquency is the most damaging factor in credit score, and 57% feel bad credit is better than having no credit.

In all, 1,293 American adults were surveyed online between September 30 and October 1, 2019. The researchers weighted the figures and made their results statistically representative of all U.S. adults.

About Ben Renner

Writer, editor, curator, and social media manager based in Denver, Colorado. View my writing at

Our Editorial Process

StudyFinds publishes digestible, agenda-free, transparent research summaries that are intended to inform the reader as well as stir civil, educated debate. We do not agree nor disagree with any of the studies we post, rather, we encourage our readers to debate the veracity of the findings themselves. All articles published on StudyFinds are vetted by our editors prior to publication and include links back to the source or corresponding journal article, if possible.

Our Editorial Team

Steve Fink


Chris Melore


Sophia Naughton

Associate Editor