Meet the 5 million ‘credit invisible’ Brits still at risk of exclusion from the financial system

Credit invisibles are people with little or no credit history, greatly reducing their access to mainstream financial services. Analysis reveals the depths of the nation’s ‘credit invisibility’ problem. New data sources help Experian reduce the un-scoreable population by 750,000.

UK, March 21, 2022: New research from Experian has revealed that there are over 5 million (5,049,129) people in the UK who are virtually invisible to the financial system, because there is insufficient information available about their financial track record.

These people, referred to as credit invisibles, find it difficult to access mainstream financial services or have to pay a premium to do so. This deficit of relevant financial information can also present problems for people trying to access crucial public services, owing to difficulties verifying their identity using online credit-report driven services.

It’s not just those on the poorest incomes that are affected by this issue, the UK’s Invisible population comes from a variety of backgrounds, including:

  • Young people who have not yet established a credit record.
  • Older people who may have either paid off their mortgage and have limited use for credit, or who have not previously relied on credit and, therefore, have no file.
  • Recent immigrants (or potentially returning expats) who may have little or no credit footprint, and therefore struggle to open bank accounts and/or rent property.

The depth of the nation’s credit invisibility problem

Experian has also highlighted the extent of the ‘credit invisibility’ issue across the UK, with new analysis identifying the areas of the country with the greatest proportion of people at risk of financial exclusion.

The constituency affected the most by the issue is Sheffield Central with credit invisibles making up 17.7% of the population, closely followed by Edinburgh North and Leith (16.1%), Edinburgh East (15.9%), and Lancaster and Fleetwood (15.7%). It’s likely that large student populations are the reason for many of these parliamentary constituencies ranking so high.

At the other end of the scale, Wentworth and Dearne (5.6%), Sedgefield (6.2%), Rother Valley (6.3%), Rayleigh and Wickford (6.4%) and Maldon (6.5%) are the constituencies with the lowest proportion of credit invisibles.

Jose Luiz Rossi, Managing Director of Experian UK&I, comments: “Our latest analysis highlights just how far-reaching ‘credit invisibility’ is in the UK – it’s on all of our doorsteps, regardless of location. In this current economic climate, the consequences for millions of people could be devasting.

“Tackling this issue is a huge priority for us, and we’ve been working hard to find innovative ways to bring more people into the mainstream financial system. The solution to this challenge lies in a combination of industry-led financial education coupled with the use of new, relevant data sources which can help build out thin credit files and deliver better financial products and services for everyone.

“Open banking can help too. Experian Boost is a prime example of an open banking powered service helping people to potentially tip the balance between being marginally refused and accepted for credit.”

Although the credit invisibles population still makes up 9% of the total UK adult population, progress has been made in recent years. Since the analysis was first carried out in November 2018, Experian has worked to reduce the number of credit invisibles by over 750,000.

Financial information about people with thin or no credit files has been added to the bureau by working with the industry to improve data quality and introduce new data sources.

Jose Luiz Rossi continues: “It’s pleasing to see our hard work is making a positive impact, but there’s still plenty more for us to do and we believe the wider industry can play a significant role in helping us move forward. It’s important for organisations who have not previously shared data, to recognise what they can do with the information they already gather. They can make a real difference to the most vulnerable in society.”

The findings have been released as part of Credit Awareness Week 2022 – an industry-wide initiative which aims to encourage more people to engage with their credit history and personal finances. This year’s event is especially significant, as more people begin to struggle financially against a backdrop of rising inflation and the strain of rising living costs. This follows the pandemic, which has tested the financial resilience of millions.

Table 1: Constituencies with highest proportion of credit invisibles


Number of Credit Invisibles

% Credit Invisibles 

Sheffield Central 



Edinburgh North and Leith  



Edinburgh East



Lancaster and Fleetwood



Edinburgh South 



Edinburgh South-West



Leeds North-West



Leeds Central 



Cardiff Central 



Manchester Central



Table 2: Constituencies with lowest proportion of credit invisibles


Number of Credit Invisibles

% Credit Invisibles 

Wentworth and Dearne 






Rother Valley



Rayleigh and Wickford






Basildon and Billericay



North-East Bedfordshire






Morley and Outwood






Tips on building your credit profile:

  • Get on the electoral roll– helps verify your name and address to banks and other lenders and can also help your credit score.
  • Open a current account– this will add an account record to your credit report and, as long as you manage the bank account responsibly, this should help your credit score.
  • Try and have some of the household bills in your name, such as gas, electric, water, broadband and tv services. Most of these will show on your credit report, and if you pay them on time, they can help your credit score over time.
  • For tenants, arrange for your monthly rental payments to appear on your Experian report to make sure your credit history includes this important financial commitment.
  • Get a ‘credit builder credit card’ - you can use comparison services like Experian to check who might accept you before you apply. Use it for small essential spending each month and repay in full.
  • See if you could get an instant score boost - by securely connecting your current account to your Experian account, you can show us how well you manage your money. We’ll look for examples of your responsible financial behaviour, such as paying your Netflix, Spotify, and Council Tax on time, and paying into savings or investment accounts. Find out more about Experian Boost1and see if you could instantly improve your credit score.
  • Be patient. Building a credit history is a marathon not a sprint. Track your progress using free credit score services such as at


Notes to editors

[1] Not all credit scores will increase as a result of using Experian Boost. The data used to create a Boost score is not currently used by all lenders.

Media contact

Joe Green, Senior PR Manager, Corporate & Business, UK&I, Experian

Tel: 07812 737 768 / Email:

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