One in ten in the dark about their level of debt


News release


James Taylor
Corporate PR Manager
+44 (0) 115 934 4547 Tel Email

One in ten in the dark about their level of debt

New research from reveals a society in denial

Nottingham, UK, 3 June 2008 - As a nation, we’re in the dark about our finances, according to new research released by today. The survey reveals that despite 96 per cent of us claiming to be familiar with our current finances, when questioned further it appears that many of us do not have a clear picture of our credit commitments.

The research revealed that:

  • Only one in four (26 per cent) of us can accurately state how much we have left to pay on our loans
  • One in five (20 per cent) admit to only planning finances once every six months or less
  • One in ten of us admit to having no idea about how much debt we are in


Jim Hodgkins, Managing Director for, comments: “It’s alarming to see that while almost the entire UK population think they are on top of their finances, many aren’t. Keeping track of your commitments and planning for the future are always important and in addition to checking bank and credit card statements, you also need to regularly check that your credit report is accurate and up-to-date.”

APR – Approximate Price Reckoned
As well as being unaware of what is going on in our credit accounts, a significant proportion of us are also unclear about the APR (annual percentage rate) we are charged on credit cards, loans and overdrafts. Whilst most of us know our overdraft limit, the study revealed that over a third (36 per cent) of the population are unsure what APR is. The lack of APR awareness is even more marked when it comes to credit cards, with 48 per cent of the nation unable to recall the APR on the cards they hold.

Young Money
The younger generation (18 – 34 year olds) are the worst when it comes to financial management. Nearly a quarter (23 per cent) admit to being bad at managing their finances and almost one in five (18 per cent) claim to have no savings, compared to 13 per cent of all adults who claim to have no savings.

On loan
The research also reveals the British public are not confident when it comes to applying for loans. Twenty three per cent of us expect to be refused a loan of £1,000, 42 per cent do not believe we could secure a loan of £10,000 and 66 per cent think that we would be refused a loan of £30,000.

Jim Hodgkins added: “This research provides a worrying insight into people’s perceptions of their finances. It is clear that many of us are not as familiar with our finances as we believe. This could lead to disappointment when people are planning to get a loan or change existing credit arrangements. Having a better understanding of your credit report could make the difference between being refused credit or being offered credit with a higher APR. If you want to take greater control of your finances, an online credit report monitoring service such as can help by providing a summary of your credit status and advice on how to improve it. Get a 30-day free trial today at”


For further information or to request an interview, please contact:


John Megaughin, the red consultancy, T: 020 7025 6414


Eleanor Moffat, the red consultancy, T: 020 7025 6564




Notes to Editors

About the research
** Based on an independent online survey conducted by ICM Omnibus on behalf of  ICM Omnibus interviewed a nationally representative sample of 1,052 UK adults aged 18 or over during the period 25 – 27 April 2008 is a subscription membership service priced at £6.99 per month, allowing unlimited online access to your credit report. The service comes with a free 30-day trial period that allows members to see and sample the service’s benefits. provides UK consumers with their complete Experian credit report, the UK’s number one, including details of loans and revolving credit with the accounts’ repayment history going back six years, the sources of the information, records of any organisations that have accessed the report and public information such as county court judgments, bankruptcies and electoral roll entries.
Experian responds to around one million requests for credit reports from consumers every year and helps many consumers with credit-related issues, including giving assistance to the victims of identity fraud.  As the threat of identity fraud shows no signs of slowing down and the use of credit continues to grow in the UK, services like will become more and more important as consumers want help to manage their personal credit information and want to be alerted to changes on their credit reports that could affect their financial future.


The word ‘Experian’ is a registered trademark in the EU and other countries and is owned by Experian Ltd. and/or its associated companies.