An interactive map has revealed that people living in London and further South boast higher credit scores than those from the North.
The map was compiled by free credit reporting firm TotallyMoney, which also surveyed 2,000 people about credit reports and credit scoring.
Revealing some common credit related misunderstandings, the survey highlights confusion among borrowers about whether where they live impacts their score and what other details influence the report.
Do your neighbours have better credit than you?
Summarising data from the credit score map This is Money reports households in Kingston, Watford and Harrow have the highest average credit scores in Britain.
Those further North, in Cleveland, Doncaster and Sunderland come in at the bottom end of the scale.
Seven of the top 20 locations based on credit score are found in Greater London, including Twickenham, Sutton, Slough and Enfield.
Only two areas in Scotland, Aberdeen and Wick, made it on to the top credit scorers list, with, Dundee and Kilmarnock, ranked in the bottom 20. Nowhere in Wales made it onto either list.
The results put together by TotallyMoney are based on data from more than 500,000 people checking their credit score through its website, which uses Transunion’s credit scoring system that ranks from 0 to 710 – the higher the score the better.
Good credit scores are necessary for obtaining credit and achieving the best rates and widest choice for borrowing.
It’s obtained in various ways, including being on the electoral roll, making loan repayments on time and keeping financial records up to date with the correct name and address.
Late repayments, regular charges for going over a credit limit and making multiple applications for new credit, meanwhile, can have a negative effect on credit scores.
“See if you’re a better borrower than your neighbours,”
Joe Gardiner, head of brand and content at Totally Money, said:
“Your credit score gives you a handy snapshot of how well you’re managing your money. And the credit “haves” in the South East score higher than the credit “have-nots” in the North.
‘But whether you’re in Land’s End or John O’Groats, you can check our interactive map to see if you’re a better borrower than your neighbours.
‘Of course, for the full picture of your financial fortitude, and to find out how to improve your score, you’ll need to check out your credit report.”
Confusion around credit scoring
41 per cent of the 2000 people surveyed by TotallyMoney incorrectly thought that where they lived influenced their credit score.
63 per cent, meanwhile, wasn’t aware that details like being on the electoral roll and joint accounts, such as joint credit cards and mortgages, were included in their credit report.
Check your credit report today
It’s essential that borrowers and would-be borrowers regularly check their credit reports and understand the link between their financial health and credit scores.
Credit reports can be accessed from the three main UK credit reporting agencies including Call Credit, Equifax and Experian for free or using an initial one-month free trial to get started.
Learn more about credit scoring and how to rebuild your score in the CashLady Guide here.