More than half (53 percent) of UK-based adults have never checked their credit rating, while almost three quarters (74 percent) are unaware of their current score, according to a survey conducted by YouGov on behalf of Credit Strategy.
The data, collated as part of the upcoming Credit Awareness Week between March 12-16 in association with Experian, was drawn from a sample of 2,146 UK adults and reveals the lack of credit knowledge among members of the public.
Around 39 percent wrongly believed a poor rating held by the previous occupant of their address affected their own rating. Similarly, more than a quarter (26 percent) incorrectly felt having a high income affected their score.
It also revealed the public’s lack of trust in those they are indebted to. Some 35 percent said they would not trust any organisation they owed to treat them fairly, while in particular, payday lenders fared worst with just three percent saying they would expect to be treated fairly.
Mobile phone networks were not much better, with the number rising to just six percent. Local councils and authorities came out best, with 27 percent saying they would expect to be treated fairly by them.
Overwhelmingly, respondents said they would like to know the reasons if they were denied credit, with 89 percent saying so, while 79% said they would like advice on how to be successful in the future.
James Jones, head of consumer affairs at Experian said: “There’s still much room for improvement in public understanding of and engagement with credit ratings, but this year’s Credit Awareness Week survey includes several encouraging signs. If you’d suggested to me five years ago that a quarter of people would soon be able to tell you there current credit score I’d have thought you were delusional.
“While many remain in the dark on the factors that affect credit scores and even on who makes the lending decision, things are moving in the right direction. So I hope Credit Awareness Week will help us keep the momentum going. Experian is certainly determined to help many more people take simple steps to gain more control of their financial future, such as by getting to know their own ‘data self’.”
Credit Awareness Week starts on Monday March 12 2018 and is campaign to empower consumers to improve their financial futures. During Credit Awareness Week, Credit Strategy is launching a toolkit called Pathfinder that takes consumers through simple steps for what to do next, when an application for a loan, mortgage or credit card has been refused.