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Over a third of Near Prime consumers have never checked their credit score PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 17 October 2016
Over a third (37%) of adults in the Near Prime sector have never checked their credit score and do not know how to according to a new study into the Near Prime market released from credit card provider aqua. 

With the Near Prime market estimated to include between 10.2-13.6 million consumers[1] in the UK, that is more than 3.7 million people who have never checked their score. For the millions of Near Prime consumers in the UK, knowing their score would help them manage their credit and contribute towards closing the credit gap that currently excludes millions from accessing better prices for basic goods and services.

According to the report, a third of those aged between 35 and 54 have not checked their credit score and don’t know how to. Those aged over 55 (49%) are actually the most unlikely compared to just 29% of 28-34 year olds.

The study also found that a significant number of Near Prime consumers (34%) are not aware of the APR that applies to their credit card account. 16% also admit that they do not know their current credit limit and nearly two fifths (39%) are unaware of the tools available from their credit provider to them manage their credit, for example a free credit checker.

Rob Holt, Director of Own Brands at aqua card issuer NewDay, commented: “Maintaining a good credit score is vital to securing a healthy financial future. It is important to recognise that your credit score is considered by lenders when applying for credit cards as well as loans, mortgages, overdrafts and even other services such as gas and electricity contracts.

“At aqua we are committed to helping our customers be better with credit. This is why we offer customers free access to their credit reports so they can check their score. Not only is it critical to understand their credit score, but also how to improve it.”

1. Ensure you’re on the electoral register. Lenders use it to help fight identity fraud by confirming a person is who they say they are - and resides at that address

2. Pay bills on time every month - a good credit score is built up over time and this shows lenders that you are reliable

3. If you notice anything on your credit report that could be incorrect or think you might be the victim of identity fraud - i.e. someone else has applied for credit in your name - contact the credit reference agency immediately to get this resolved

4. Avoid keeping a high balance on credit cards. Lenders view it as excessive debt and will be concerned about your ability to repay

5. Do not apply for products you do not need. Applying for more than four types of credit in a year can lower your credit score

The Near Prime market comprises 10.2-13.6m[2] UK adults who find it difficult to obtain a credit card from traditional lenders due to having a thin credit history, an adverse credit history and/or other constraints such as a low income or an inconsistent address history. Understanding the Near Prime Market: The Consumer Perspective reveals that myths and misconceptions about credit persist for a substantial number of consumers in this sector of the market, published by aqua.

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