The festive season is the time of year when consumers may have spent a little more than they intended, prompting many to head into the new year with plans to bring finances into line. Understanding their credit score can help consumers get to grips with their finances, however the latest research from Equifax reveals that over half of Brits have never checked their credit score with a credit reference agency.
Londoners are most content with their credit scores, with a third (33%) saying they were happy the last time they checked, closely followed by the South East (31%) and the South West (28%.) Those living in the East of England are the unhappiest, with 11% saying they were not impressed the last time they checked their score. One in 10 of those living in the North West came in a close second when it comes to being unhappy with their credit score.
However, Equifax analysis of average credit scores across the UK seems to suggest a disconnect between consumers’ level of happiness or unhappiness with their credit score and their actual score.
Average Equifax credit scores by region
|Region||Average Equifax Credit Score|
|East of England||393|
|Yorkshire & Humber||374|
Lisa Hardstaff, credit information expert at Equifax said, “It is clear from our latest research that a significant number of individuals have never checked their credit score, which means that are not putting themselves in the best position when it comes to applying for credit”
“Not only should people get to grips with their credit scores, but they should also check their credit reports to understand what information is influencing their score.
“The new year is always a time for new plans and potentially new financial applications. If individuals are planning on making an application for credit, they should check their credit report and score in advance.
“The credit report will give a record of their borrowing history, which could help them decide whether they need to improve or keep up their borrowing habits. And knowing their score and what range it falls in can help to give an indication of how lenders may view their creditworthiness.”
Here is how the Equifax bands scores, from red to green, as follows:
Red 0-278: People that have a credit score in this category are likely to be classed as very high risk by lenders because their credit report will show they have not kept up with credit repayments. They may have bad debts, County Court Judgments (CCJs) or insolvencies.
Red 279 – 366: People with credit scores in this category are still likely to be classed as high risk by lenders, but they may have with slightly less bad debts than the lower scores than people in the previous category.
Amber 367 – 419: Lenders are likely to expect people who have scores of between 367 and 419 to be a moderate risk. There may be some evidence of late payments on debts.
Amber to Green 420 – 466: People in this band are most likely to be viewed as low risk by lenders. This is because lenders would expect few people in this category to be experiencing serious issues with repaying their credit.
Green 467 (and above is excellent): It is likely that most lenders would regard people in this category to be very low risk. This is because they would expect very few people with credit scores in this region to have problems with repaying their credit.