Stock Update (NYSE:DFS): Discover Financial Services Survey Finds Millennials Aspire to Be More Financially Responsible

According to a survey commissioned by Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS), ninety-six percent of millennials who have credit cards consider themselves financially responsible, yet 44 percent of those surveyed have either missed a payment, paid a late fee, exceeded their credit limit or had to work out a payment plan with a credit card company.

The national survey polled 2,000 millennials between the ages of 18 and 32, including both credit cardholders and non-cardholders. The survey found that 80 percent of non-cardholders also consider themselves financially responsible, but only about 1 out of 4 knew their approximate credit score. And even fewer, about 20 percent, had checked their credit report or credit score in the last six months; while 37 percent of cardholders surveyed said they learned to manage credit responsibility by using credit cards.

“It is important that millennials be aware of their credit information because it influences how lenders, auto dealers and others evaluate them,” said Ryan Scully, vice president of new cardmember acquisition at Discover. “With our Discover it cards, we give cardmembers their FICO® Credit Score1 for free, alerts to help them manage their account and access to Discover’s Credit Resource Center which provides content on credit education and best practices.”

Other results of the survey showed that millennials are actively applying for lines of credit with 63 percent of those polled currently having two or more credit cards. Fifty-two percent of the millennial cardholders surveyed also believed that a first credit card should be obtained between the ages of 18 and 22.

When broken down further, 99 percent of those surveyed between the ages of 18 and 22 said they are aware of what a credit score is, and 50 percent of the age group believed that having a credit card helped them become more financially responsible.

When the 18 to 22 year old age range was asked to choose their top reasons for using credit cards from the following list, restaurants & dining out made the list 63 percent of the time, followed by:

  • Small daily purchases (coffee, snacks, etc.) – 62 percent
  • Gas/Transportation – 58 percent
  • Entertainment (movies, concerts) – 50 percent
  • Major item purchases (TVs, electronics, furniture) – 48 percent
  • Emergencies – 47 percent
  • Monthly bills – 40 percent
  • Personal appearance – (manicures, haircuts, spa) – 31 percent
  • Major life expenses (tuition, wedding) – 26 percent

The Discover it® chrome card gives cardmembers 2% Cashback Bonus at gas stations and restaurants, on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, which are two of the top reasons 18-22 year olds use their credit card.(Original Source)

Shares of Discover Financial Services closed yesterday at $58.34. DFS has a 1-year high of $66.75 and a 1-year low of $54.02. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $58.69 and its 200-day moving average is $59.05.

On the ratings front, DFS has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on May 6, Bernstein Research analyst Kevin Pierre maintained a Hold rating on DFS. Separately, on May 5, Oppenheimer’s Ben Chittenden reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $77.

According to, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Kevin Pierre and Ben Chittenden have a total average return of 2.1% and -8.2% respectively. Pierre has a success rate of 62.5% and is ranked #2242 out of 3692 analysts, while Chittenden has a success rate of 41.5% and is ranked #3577.

Discover Financial Services is a direct banking and payment services company. The Company offers credit card loans, private student loans, personal loans, home equity loans and deposit products.

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