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Published On: Wed, Jun 22nd, 2016

More Work Needed By Credit Reporting Sector To Help Consumers

A recent survey in the UK by the consumer watchdog, Which?, found that 53% of the people they spoke to had never checked or requested their credit report.

This should not really come as much of a surprise, the numbers would almost certainly be very similar in a range of developed economies around the world. Let’s be honest, unless you are applying for a loan, mortgage or a new job, who really thinks about these things? Despite the apathy, 53% does seem like a lot of people.

What might be a little more surprising though is the relative ease with which credit reports can be obtained now. The process in many countries was quite archaic, but has been improved in a bid to make the sector more user friendly.

photo/ Michael Jarmoluk via pixabay

photo/ Michael Jarmoluk via pixabay

In the USA, for example, there are now many websites whose sole aim is to make the process of obtaining and improving a credit score, such as independently operated CafeCredit.com. With the pivotal impact that the information can have over important areas of life, such as being able to get a new job, it is not a subject to take lightly.

In addition to this improved ease of access, there has been a gradual improvement in both the quality and quantity of advice provided to consumers by mainstream media. Media coverage that explains the best ways of maintaining a good credit score are very common. These days, it takes some serious effort to avoid the topic!

Despite this, 53% of people surveyed had never requested their credit report. Obviously there are many groups in society that will have no need for their score. For example, people in long-term employment with no debts would likely have a limited need for their details.

The question then, is why do so many people avoid such an important element of their personal finances?

One part of the answer must relate to the nature of life – we are all rushing around doing other, more urgent, tasks.

However, another factor must be the relative complexity of understanding a credit report file. Your author has worked in the mortgage sector and therefore seen a great many credit reports, but the first few were a mystery. It takes part science and part experience to understand one well and until this changes and the underlying scoring system becomes more user friendly, there can be little doubt that most people will choose to avoid the subject unless they have no other choice.

Guest Author: Stuart Langridge

On the DISPATCH: Headlines  Local  Opinion

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