Londoners rank as UK’s most credit aware

Credit Awareness Week runs from March 12, encouraging people to improve their financial futures

UK, 12 March, 2018: New research launched today, ahead of Credit Awareness Week, has found Londoners are the most likely to check their credit report and use their score to find the cheapest deal on cards, utilities and more.

Battersea topped the list of areas where people are most likely to have checked their credit report in the last 12 months, followed by the Cities of London and Westminster, and Ealing Central and Acton. The same areas also rank highly among those most likely to use switching services.

The research highlights the ranging awareness people have of their credit situation. Experian is supporting Credit Strategy’s Credit Awareness Week, which runs from March 12 and aims to empower people to improve their financial futures.

However, the Moor View area of Plymouth is home to the people least likely to check their credit report. Rhondda and Rotherham residents are also highly unlikely to have a handle on what their report contains.

Experian’s research shows the degree to which people are taking control of their finances by shopping around and switching to cheaper deals to help make their money go further. Credit awareness helps people stay in control of their spending and borrowing, and to manage their money successfully.

Encouragingly, public awareness of a number of credit-related issues has increased year-on-year, according to a separate YouGov poll[1] commissioned exclusively for Credit Awareness Week. However, engagement remains relatively low, despite the availability of free credit score services.

The percentage of people who said they know their current credit score went up from 22% to 26%, while 47% have ever checked their credit report, up from 45% last year. However, there is still much misunderstanding. 39% of those surveyed wrongly believe their own credit score can be affected by a previous resident of their address having a poor credit score, while 14% think, incorrectly, that checking their own credit report and score has an impact on their credit rating.

The number of people who believe that lenders should be more open and helpful when credit is refused has also increased. To help, Experian and Credit Strategy have launched an improved ‘credit refusal pathfinder’ tool, to help guide people who apply for credit and get turned down.

James Jones, Head of Consumer Affairs at Experian, said:

“It’s great Londoners are engaged with their credit situation. However, our research also shows many people around the UK are not routinely checking and as a result are missing out on the benefits that taking control of their financial situation can bring. Far too many people are in the dark on the factors that affect their credit score. Likewise the existence of eligibility and comparison services designed to help empower people shop around for better deals and, where credit is concerned, avoid damaging their score while they do so.”

Luke Broadhurst, Managing Director of Credit Strategy, said:

"Credit awareness is the first step along the path to better personal financial management for all. This research, delivered as a part of Credit Awareness Week and hosted by Credit Strategy, is a vital part of this process. We're especially delighted to have partnered with a business of Experian's standing to deliver such useful information for all consumers, the length and breadth of the country."

[Ends]

Table 1: UK constituencies where people are most credit aware - Top

Constituency

UK Rank checks credit report

Battersea

1

Cities of London and Westminster

2

Ealing Central and Acton

3

Hampstead and Kilburn

4

Holborn and St Pancras

5

Hornsey and Wood Green

6

Islington North

7

Islington South and Finsbury

8

Tooting

9

Vauxhall

10

 

Table 2: UK constituencies where people are most credit aware - Bottom

Constituency

UK Rank checks credit report

Neath

641

Blaenau Gwent

642

Houghton and Sunderland South

643

Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney

644

Walsall North

645

Nottingham North

646

Clacton

647

Rotherham

648

Rhondda

649

Plymouth, Moor View

650

[1] YouGov surveyed 2,164 UK adults on February 7 and 8, 2018. 

 

Media contact:

Marlin PR for Experian:

Tel: 0207 932 5580 / Email: experian@marlinpr.com

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