Credit reports and credit scores remain a mystery to many consumers

09 November 2020

4 min read

Meera Khanna, Consumer PR Manager
Meera Khanna

Corporate PR Manager - Protection

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Commenting on subscription services and council tax bills being used by Experian to improve consumers’ credit score, Sarah Pennells, Head of Financial Capability at Royal London said:

“With more people buying services on subscription, Experian’s service that takes account of these regular payments may seem like a logical next step. However, it’s important for people to realise that there’s no ‘universal’ credit score – and the company you’re applying to credit for may give you a different credit score entirely. Secondly, this is an opt-in service, which involves sharing your bank account details with a credit reference agency via Open Banking1 – which some people may not feel comfortable with.

“However, the bigger issue is that credit reports and credit scores remain a complete mystery to many consumers who either don’t check their credit report2 or don’t understand the information when they do. The Financial Conduct Authority started looking into credit information last year, including how much3 consumers engage with it and understand how it’s used. This should provide some useful insights into what else needs to be done to help people understand how to improve their credit rating.

Notes to Editors

1.      Source - https://www.experian.co.uk/consumer/experian-boost.html

2.     This quotes a Which study from 2016 saying 53% of people don’t check - https://www.fca.org.uk/publication/market-studies/ms19-1-1.pdf

3.     Source (pg 11, point 4.8) - https://www.fca.org.uk/publication/market-studies/ms19-1-1.pdf 

About Royal London:

Royal London is the largest mutual life insurance, pensions and investment company in the UK, with assets under management of £139 billion, 8.6 million policies in force and 4,348 employees. Figures quoted are as at 30 June 2020.

For further information please contact:

Meera Khanna, Corporate PR Manager - Protection