Majority of Brits in the dark over credit scores

A new survey of 2,000 adults in the UK has revealed how Britons are managing their credit scores. It found that:

●    51% of Brits are not aware of their credit score
●    18% want to improve their credit score but don’t know how to
●    17% of UK adults feel anxious about the state of their credit score
●    12% of respondents believe have been rejected by a loan or credit card provider in the past 12 months because of their credit score

The majority of UK adults do not know their credit score, according to a recent NerdWallet study.

This is despite over 70% of respondents knowing how to find out their credit score, and 74% admitting to knowing its importance.

What is more, almost a fifth (18%) of respondents said that they wanted to improve their credit score but didn’t know how to do so.

Brean Horne, personal finance expert at NerdWallet said: “It is worrying to see that so many people are in the dark over their credit score. Our credit scores can influence our chances of being approved for new credit, such as a mortgage or credit card. So it is really important, and very possible, to keep on top of it. It is vital that people keep track of their credit scores regularly.”

And whether they are in the dark or not, credit scores seem to weigh heavily on UK adults.

One in seven Britons (14%) says that their credit score is a source of stress and anxiety, with an equal number believing that their credit score is currently holding them back from making major life changes.

Indeed, 12% of respondents believe they have been rejected by a loan or credit card provider over the previous 12 months because of their credit score. Slightly fewer (9%) think they have been turned away by mortgage providers for this reason, with 14% concerned that they will never be able to buy a property because their credit score is too low.

Horne added “Understandably, personal finances have been one of the main sources of stress and anxiety throughout the Covid-19 pandemic for people across the UK. And our research has revealed that credit scores have been of particular concern,” added Horne.

“Credit scores are essential to helping people to access finance – such as mortgages, credit cards and loans – so that they can achieve their financial goals. If your credit score is not quite where you want it to be, you needn’t panic. There are lots of simple steps that can help improve your credit rating. Registering to vote, for example, or setting up direct debits to make sure bills are paid on time can help boost your credit score.”

“It’s important to remember that getting your credit score on track is more of a marathon than a sprint. And it may take a few months to see your score improve. But continually taking steps to improve your credit rating will pay off in the long run. Not only will it improve your chances of accessing new lines of credit, but you’ll also get access to a wider range of products and more competitive interest rates.”