- Barclaycard becomes the first financial services brand in the UK to offer customers free access to their Experian Credit Score online and on-the-go via the Barclaycard app
- New research finds that 61 per cent of people in the UK have never checked their credit score with a credit reference agency and just 26 per cent say they know their credit history
- Confusion exists amongst consumers about what can affect their credit rating with over half incorrectly thinking that missing a council tax payment can do so
- Residents of Belfast, London and Edinburgh are most likely to know their credit score, with those in Glasgow, Manchester and Sheffield most in the dark
Barclaycard is from today offering every one of its 10.5m personal customers in the UK free, regular access to their Experian Credit Score, helping them to better understand their financial footprint and get on top of their finances. Customers will be able to access the score through their online account and, from early next year, via the Barclaycard mobile app.
In spite of the crucial role an individual’s credit history plays in the ability to borrow money and access affordable finance, just a quarter (26 per cent) of people in the UK know what their credit score is and fewer than one in four (39 per cent) have checked it in the past, new research from Barclaycard shows.
Of those who do not know their credit rating, almost a third of people (30 per cent) feel so confident that their credit history is good they believe they don’t need to check it, a quarter (26 per cent) don’t want to pay to access it and one in five (19 per cent) don’t see the relevance of it. One in twenty (4 per cent) are so scared that their rating would be bad that they prefer not to know.
For those that have checked their credit score, applying for a mortgage was the biggest driver (22 per cent), followed by suspected fraud/identity theft (21 per cent) and general curiosity (21 per cent).
However, the research from the UK’s leading credit card provider shows that there remains significant confusion over how credit scores are affected. Over half (54 per cent) of people incorrectly believe that missing a council tax payment can directly affect their rating, and nearly a third (31 per cent) worry unnecessarily that their partner or spouse defaulting on a loan in their own name will automatically have a direct impact their score.
Barclaycard customers accessing their Experian Credit Score1 via their account management service will be able to track how their financial management affects their rating and how it changes over time. Alongside it will sit a series of hints and tips designed to help them understand, improve or maintain their score. The service will be available to both existing and new customers, and will be entirely free of charge.
Customers can access their score as many times as they want and early next year it will also be made available ‘on-the-go’ when it’s incorporated into the Barclaycard account management app. This will allow it to be easily checked before applying for credit to finance a big purchase such as a car, a mortgage or a loan.
Regionally, residents of Belfast, London and Edinburgh are most likely to know their credit score, whilst those in Glasgow, Manchester and Sheffield are least likely. Of those who have not checked their score, a quarter (24 per cent) of those in Northern Ireland and a fifth (18 per cent) in Wales felt their score would be bad or very bad. Two thirds of people in the South East (65 per cent) think their credit score would be good or excellent.
Manoj Piplani, MD of Barclaycard UK, said:
“Everyone should take time to manage and understand their credit score – it’s not only an important deciding factor on whether you can get a mortgage, loan or credit card, but can affect your access to a much wider range of products and services including mobile phone contracts, monthly car insurance, bank accounts and more.
“Customers have told us that they recognise the importance of their credit score, but for a variety of reasons just one in ten check it regularly. By partnering with Experian and becoming the first brand in the UK to offer completely free access to our customers, we’re hoping to remove some of the mystery that surrounds credit scores and help our customers understand and improve theirs.
“It’s just one of the new ways we’re giving customers greater control over their credit and new tools to help them manage their finances. Accessing their up-to-date credit score ‘on-the-go’ through the Barclaycard app will make it easier than ever to check where they stand before applying for credit, a mortgage or a loan.”
1Experian Credit Score provides people with a snapshot view of their current credit status which is updated every 60 days and is broken down into five categories: excellent, good, fair, poor or very poor.