07 Jun 2012

DO BRITAIN'S BORROWERS KNOW HOW MUCH THEY REALLY OWE?

DO BRITAIN'S BORROWERS KNOW HOW MUCH THEY REALLY OWE?
Over a third don’t know the balance on their credit card, Equifax research reveals


www.equifax.co.uk

London, 26th June 2012 - New research commissioned by leading online credit information provider, Equifax, reveals that nearly a third of UK consumers who don’t pay off their credit card each month, don’t know their current outstanding balance and over half don’t know what interest rate they’re paying. With almost 40% saying they use their credit cards for all or some forms of living expenses, Equifax believes this reveals a worrying lack of knowledge over financial commitments.

Over half of workers surveyed in the Equifax commissioned research also said they have 10% or less of their salary left in the week leading up to payday, with forgotten cash in pockets or even behind the sofa seeing them through to the end of the month.

Key Statistics
Research conducted on behalf of Equifax by OnePoll, 23-24 May 2012 amongst 3,000 consumers 58% women; 42% men

•Almost 40% use their credit cards for all or some forms of living expenses
•1 in 5 pay off less than 25% of the credit card balance or the minimum payment each month
•Of those who don’t pay off all their credit card balance each month, 29.85% don’t know what their current outstanding balance is and 58.44% don’t know what the interest rate is on their credit card
•10.10% of workers said they have nothing left in the week leading up to payday; 14.63% have less than 5% remaining and 22.63% have less than 15% to keep them going to payday
•34.2% go to family if they need to borrow money with Mum and Dad the favourites at 25.83%. Grandparents are the second option at 8.43% followed closely by brothers or sisters at 8.27%.
•32.37% said they were regularly (at least once a month) or fairly frequently (every 2-3 months) overdrawn
In response to this new research, Equifax is urging consumers to conduct a financial health check at least once a year to help them stay in control and avoid the risk of spiralling debt as Neil Munroe, External Affairs Director explained: “It seems, from this latest research we have commissioned, that many UK consumers are living on a financial knife-edge. Even with the latest news that inflation has dropped, it’s still hard for families to balance living costs with many not having a salary increase so far this year.”

“We therefore think it’s very worthwhile to try to carry out a financial health check at least once a year, just to review overall finances and give them the control they need to effectively manage their debts. Consumers can make a habit of monitoring their credit agreements, by downloading the Equifax Credit Report app. This means they can check out their credit status at any time, allowing them to make informed decisions when it comes to spending or applying for more credit and getting the best rates.”

The favourite place for finding spare cash to keep going to the end of the month:
  %
In coat/jacket pockets 15.67%
In the car 9.77%
Loose change jar 24.30%
Down the back of the sofa 6.10%
In my child’s piggy bank/savings account 2.37%
N/A - I never have any spare cash at the end of the month 22.63%

The Equifax app is available free from the Apple iTunes Store on iPhone and iPad and from Google Play for Androids.

Ends

For further press information please contact: Louise Fowler, Clare Watson or Wendy Harrison at HSL on 020 8977 9132 / Fax: 020 8977 5200 or Email: wendy@harrisonsadler.com

About Equifax
Equifax is a global leader in consumer, commercial and workforce information solutions, providing businesses of all sizes and consumers with information they can trust. We organize and assimilate data on more than 500 million consumers and 81 million businesses worldwide, and use advanced analytics and proprietary technology to create and deliver customized insights that enrich both the performance of businesses and the lives of consumers.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Equifax operates or has investments in 18 countries and is a member of Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500® Index. Its common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol EFX. For more information, please visit www.equifax.com.