How divided is the UK? No, we’re not talking about Brexit, but rather how people’s eligibility scores stack up against each other.
We’ve mapped out the average eligibility scores around the UK to show the differences in access to credit throughout the country.
Your eligibility score is an indicator of your chances of being accepted when you apply for credit. Scored out of 1000, the higher your eligibility score, the more attractive you are to lenders.
The score, unique to TotallyMoney.com, takes into account crucial information that is excluded from your credit score but still forms part of credit providers' lending criteria. You can see your eligibility score for free and find out how you compare to the national average and people in your area.
Your eligibility score considers your credit history along with changes in the market, making it the only score that is directly related to the credit that is available to you.
Checking your eligibility has no impact on your credit score. We run a soft search on your credit file to generate your score. Soft searches are generally not visible to lenders, but if they are, lending decisions are unaffected.
The scores featured in our research come from TotallyMoney.com users.
The research showed that out of the countries that make up the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland has the best average eligibility score, at 333 out of 1000.
England is close in second with 331, followed by Scotland at 328 and Wales at 319.
Looking at the country's ten largest cities, we see some interesting results when it comes to eligibility.
Average eligibility scores of the UK’s 10 largest citiesCity
Use the map to see the UK's eligibility hotspots. How eligible is your postcode area? Are your neighbours more or less eligible than you? Find out below.
See our infographic for a clear breakdown of the average eligibility scores of the UK’s 10 largest cities.
Some interesting points that arose from the research:
London might be the financial centre of the UK, but at 340 out of 1000, it only has the second best average eligibility score of the country's ten biggest cities. Bradford came out on top with an average score of 344.
The average eligibility score across Scotland is lower than that of England or Northern Ireland, however the Scottish cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh have the third and tenth highest average eligibility score, respectively, of any UK city.
Of the UK’s ten most populated cities, six (Bradford, London, Glasgow, Bristol, Leeds and Sheffield) have an average eligibility score which sits equal to or above the national average of 329.
The four top areas for average eligibility scores (Kingston, Twickenham, Bromley and South-West London), all lie in the South-West of England.
An eligibility score is a real-time snapshot of someone's access to credit. Therefore the average scores can fluctuate day-to-day due to changes in people's credit files or in the markets. All the averages used in this research were calculated on 18 April 2017.
Top 10 Postcode AreasPostcode area
|SW||South West London||352|
Bottom 10 Postcode AreasPostcode area
|DG||Dumfries & Galloway||316|
|WC||West Central London||313|
Missing monthly payments on credit cards or loans, or going outside of your credit limit will negatively impact your eligibility score.
However a low eligibility score can be improved by getting a card for people with poor credit and using it sensibly – for example by spending a little on it each month and always making sure you pay off the balance in full.
Other small changes can make lenders see you as more reliable. Register to vote and try not to move house too often. This will make you appear a more stable person who will be responsible with a card or a loan, thereby improving your eligibility score.