Credit Strategy homepage
0 £0.00
This item was added to your basket

Dear visitor,
You are viewing 1 of your 1 free articles

We’ve made wider, important changes to our print and online content to enhance the value of exclusive, insightful, discerning content we create every day. Support valuable editorial content by becoming a member of our Credit Club - register for free or choose a paid plan.

Register now or Login

Credit Awareness Week: Making sustainable choices by building credit awareness

Credit Awareness Week is back for its second year and is once again led in partnership by Credit Strategy and Experian. Tom Blacksell, B2B managing director at Experian, looks at the role credit awareness can play in making better choices.

Tom Blacksell, B2B managing director, Experian UK&I
Tom Blacksell, B2B managing director, Experian UK&I

Promoting a better understanding about how the credit economy works and improving financial awareness, so that people can take control of their financial situation with positive, proactive decisions, is absolutely vital.


This is encapsulated in our financial education programmes. In partnership with Young Enterprise, we have created 28 Centres of Excellence for schools to support children’s financial education. And we have created the UK’s first free online teaching resource to help children develop their financial knowledge and abilities.


Credit Awareness Week is, then, a natural place for us to continue that focus. To take that conversation more widely, to our industry partners, for us all to consider how we might find better ways of working, and drive better outcomes for our customers.


There’s no doubt that we are living through a period of significant financial uncertainty. At times like this it is important that consumers are aware of all the options available to them from a financial perspective. And we believe your credit score is one of the first things you should look at.


Public knowledge


It’s perhaps surprising then that our annual Credit Awareness Week consumer survey found that public awareness of credit and how it can be used to help with day to day challenges still remains relatively low, despite some signs of improvement – potentially driven by the widespread availability of free 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 coming through.


Some 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.


More than a quarter (26%) are also wrong to believe having a high income can affect their score. The number of people who believe that the system needs to provide clearer explanation about how the decision was made when credit is refused has also increased.


What the results of our poll tell me is that more needs to be done in promoting a better understanding about all the options available, like the existence of eligibility and comparison services which are designed to help empower people shop around for better deals and, where credit is concerned, avoid damaging their score while they do so.


So there is work to do in building a better understanding about how credit works, which is something we are committed to and that’s why we are supporting this campaign. To help, Experian and Credit Strategy have brought back an improved ‘credit refusal pathfinder’ tool, to help guide people who apply for credit and get turned down.


I’d encourage everyone, even those of us who think we know this business inside out, to take a look at the tool. And, in the spirit of building greater trust and transparency with our customers, let’s take this opportunity to have a think about what we in the industry can do to make things clearer for people.


Helping them understand how lending decisions are made and empowering them to take control of their financial situation and make better, sustainable choices through affordable access to finance.

Share on LinkedIn Share on Twitter
Add New Comment



Rent-to-own firm agrees to pay £2m in redress

Rent-to-own firm PerfectHome has agreed to pay a redress package totalling more than £2.1m in relation to its affordability assessments and collections processes

Bank account information exposed in data breach

Consumers applying for a loan from a short-term lender may have had personal details stolen as part of a data breach - where information remained vulnerable for a period of 18 months

FCA warns car dealers on financing deals

Car dealers offering finance deals may be incentivised by sales targets and commission to encourage customers to take out unaffordable repayment plans with the highest interest rates, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has warned

Citizens Advice calls for doorstep loans curb

People borrowing from doorstep lenders should receive the same level of protection as those who use payday loans, according to Citizens Advice

The CS Interview

The patriot

The patriot


“I have experienced gender bias against women in my career”
Share on LinkedInShare on Twitter

“I have experienced gender bias against women in my career”


“The future of collections will be powered by automation”
Share on LinkedInShare on Twitter

“The future of collections will be powered by automation”

Credit 500 - 2017/2018

Consumer Credit 100 Survey: Forward flow vs Spot sale

Consumer Credit 100 Survey: Forward flow vs Spot sale

Credit Strategy
LinkedIn page

Did you find our website useful?

Thank you for your input

Thank you for your feedback – an online news and information service for the UK’s commercial and consumer credit industry. is published by Shard Financial Media Limited, registered in England & Wales as 5481132, Axe & Bottle Court, 70 Newcomen St, London, SE1 1YT. All rights reserved. Credit Strategy is committed to diversity in the workplace.
@ Copyright Shard Media Group