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Capital One: Older Doesn't Necessarily Mean Financially Wiser

December 3, 2002 at 5:24 AM EST

FALLS CHURCH, Va., Dec. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- In this economic downturn, it's more important than ever for adults of all ages to educate themselves to better understand what's in their wallet.

Seniors (aged 60+) today use the Internet for keeping in touch with friends and family, online shopping and news. However, according to a recent survey done on behalf of Capital One, only one-quarter of seniors know where to turn for financial information online.

Fiscal awareness and understanding is key to properly balancing expenses and preparing oneself for the possibility of any financial mishaps. This is especially imperative for the elderly who may be living on a fixed income.

In an effort to help adults empower themselves with the knowledge they need to develop sound financial practices, Capital One offers consumer education resources which address issues such as obtaining and understanding credit reports, budgeting, saving, identity theft and recognizing debt problems. All materials are available free online at Consumers can also learn more about investing in their financial future through Money Wi$e which can be found on, a program from Capital One and Consumer Action.

Below are some findings from Capital One's Fiscal Fitness Survey:


Where can I get financial information online?

Although today's seniors are Internet savvy, they aren't aware of

financial information online.

  • When asked if they were aware of online sources that provide financial information, 72% of seniors said they weren't aware of online sources; 48.7% of Boomers answered yes.

Who do you turn to for credit card advice?

One thing both age groups agree on is what source they would pay the

most attention to when it comes to getting advice on using credit cards


  • Boomers (34.4%) and seniors (33.2%) both said they would turn to their credit card company for advice on using credit wisely.

  • 'Til debt do us part? The second source for both age groups would be their spouse.

Who has the most credit cards?

Seniors keep it simple.

  • Over 75% of seniors have at least one credit card. One-quarter of all seniors responded they have one credit card, followed closely by 23% who said they have two credit cards and 20.7% who said they have four or more credit cards.

  • One-quarter of all Boomers surveyed said they have four or more credit cards, 21% said they have no credit cards and 18.4% said they have one credit card.

  • One-quarter of all women surveyed said they have four or more credit cards while most men (24.1%) said they only have two credit cards.

Awareness is the first step.

There is a need for increased identity theft awareness among seniors.

  • More than one-third of seniors do not know what identity theft is while most Boomers (81.7%) are aware of it.

  • However, 40% of adults in both age groups have no idea where to turn if they become a victim.


The 2002 Capital One Fiscal Fitness Survey, which included interviews with a national sample of 552 American adults aged 35-59 and 511 American adults aged 60 and over, was conducted by International Communications Research.


Headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, Capital One Financial Corporation (NYSE: COF) is a holding company whose principal subsidiaries, Capital One Bank and Capital One, F.S.B., offer consumer lending products. Capital One's subsidiaries collectively had 48.2 million customers and $56.9 billion in managed loans outstanding as of September 30, 2002. Capital One, a Fortune 500 company, is one of the largest providers of MasterCard and Visa credit cards in the world. Capital One trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "COF" and is included in the S&P 500 index.

SOURCE Capital One

-0- 12/03/2002

CONTACT: Diana Don of Capital One, +1-703-205-1165,; or Alyssa Sanders of Manning Selvage & Lee, +1-212-213-7497,, for Capital One

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