Brits oblivious to when they’re being credit checked

Thousands of Brits are oblivious to when they’re being credit checked, according to a study from Amigo.

From overdraft extensions to mobile phone contracts, thousands of Brits across the UK are completely unaware that they are being silently judged by a number on a screen.

Monthly insurance premium instalments, monthly gas direct debits and monthly electricity direct debits are among the top things consumers are not aware they’ll be credit checked for – with more than half of the population admitting that they weren’t aware big brother was checking out their trustworthiness.

More seriously, one in five people (22 per cent) aren’t aware that they’re credit checked when applying for a mortgage, meaning they may not only be declined but they could actually damage their credit score even more, making finding a mortgage acceptance even harder. Other financial transactions people didn’t know were credit checked included applying for a personal loan (24 per cent) and applying for a credit card (19per cent).

Top Ten financial transaction that people DIDN’T KNOW they were being credit checked for

1.    Monthly insurance instalments – 63%

2.    Gas direct debit payment – 56%

3.    Electricity direct debit payment – 56%

4.    Flat rental – 50%

5.    Mobile phone monthly contract – 37%

6.    Overdraft extension – 49%

7.    Store cards – 42%

8.    Retail finance – 37%

9.    Car finance – 27%

10.  Personal loan – 24%

 

A damaged credit score severely impacts an individual’s ability to borrow from a lender, especially a mortgage. If your credit score is poor, it indicates that you are less trustworthy when it comes to paying back a loan.

Every individual in the UK has a credit score, yet only 12% of people recall knowing their exact rating. This means many could be in for a nasty shock when they apply for a loan, credit card or mortgage.

What’s worse, if you apply for a credit card, loan or mortgage and are declined, that process can actually damage your credit score even further.

There are three principal reference agencies which allow people to check their score before applying for credit including; Equifax, Experian andCallcredit.

Glen Crawford, CEO at Amigo Loans, which commissioned the study said: Thousands of people are completely oblivious to the fact big institutions are checking their trustworthiness. The days when you would only be checked for a mortgage or a loan are long gone. What’s really worrying is that people could be inadvertently destroying their own credit score, and as a result may be closing the door on life dreams like home ownership.

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