How does your credit score compare to your neighbours?
Map reveals average score for YOUR postcode
Households in Kingston, Watford and Harrow have the highest credit scores while those living in Cleveland, Doncaster and Sunderland have the worst
BRITS living in the north of the UK have worse credit scores than households in the south, new research has revealed.
People living in Cleveland, Doncaster and Sunderland have some of the lowest credit scores in the UK, while no cities or counties in the south made it in to the bottom 20 areas with the worst scores.
Households in Kingston have the best credit scores while those in Cleveland have the worst. Data from TotallyMoney
Six cities in Yorkshire made it into the list of areas with the lowest scores, including Hull, Halifax, Sheffield, Wakefield and Leeds.
Meanwhile, households in Kingston, Watford and Harrow have the highest credit scores meaning that they’re more likely to be accepted when applying for a loan.
The results put together by TotallyMoney are based on Transunion’s credit score system that ranks from 0 to 710 – the higher the score the better it is.
They’ve put together an interactive map where you can compare what the average scores are in your area compared to your neighbours.
And while some areas perform worse on average, if you zoom in for a closer look then you’ll see that some postcodes actually perform better.
People living in Kingston in Greater London scored the highest with an average of 547, compared to households in Cleveland in the north east of England, who scored an average of 513.
Second from last was Yorkshire’s Doncaster, which has an average credit score of 514. Hull also ranked in the bottom five, with an average credit score of 515.
Two areas in Scotland, Dundee and Kilmarnock, ranked in the bottom 20, and nowhere in Wales made it onto the either list.
How do I check my credit report?
TWO thirds of Brits have no idea what their credit score is, so it’s worth checking yours to see if you need to improve it.
All three CRAs offer you the chance to view your score, report and more for a monthly fee BUT you can get hold of your score for free without paying for a subscription.
Experian – Sign-up to its CreditMatcher service which will give you access to your score and help you shop around for deals you are likely to be accepted for. If you want access to your full report you’ll pay £14.99 a month after a 30-day trial period ends.
Equifax – You can get your Equifax report AND score through a website called Clearscore. If you go to Equifax directly you’ll pay £14.95 a month after its 30-day free trial.
Call credit – You can get your report and score for free via its Noddle website, which advertises loans and cards you are likely to be accepted for.
You also have a legal right to access your report from each CRA for just £2 – but this won’t include your score.
Top 20 areas with the best credit scores
Seven of the best areas are in Greater London areas, but other southern postcodes including Oxford, Reading, Bournemouth and Hereford also made it on to the list.
Only two areas in Scotland, Aberdeen and Wick, made it on to the top performers list.
The free credit report firm also polled 2,000 people and found that 41 per cent believed their score was affected by where they live.
Your credit score takes into account things like your bank accounts, any credit cards or loans you have and the balances on them and any late payments you’ve made.
Households in Kingston in Greater London have the best credit scores on average. Data from TotallyMoney
The reason this information is really important is that when you apply for a new credit agreement – like a credit card, loan, or mobile phone agreement – lenders will use it to decide whether they will lend to you or not, and if they do, what deal you’ll get.
More than 63 per cent of the people polled didn’t realise that being on the electoral role boosted your score and more than half didn’t know that joint accounts are also looked at.
Lenders need an idea of your financial trustworthiness before they lend to you, and your credit rating affects whether they say yes – and that includes things like phone contracts and taking things out on finance.
People who live in Cleveland in the North East of England have the worst scores on average. Data from TotallyMoney
Joe Gardiner from TotallyMoney 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.
“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.”
How to improve the score for your credit