Skip to main content

Calculated: the true cost of a poor credit score

Latest research from TotallyMoney and Moneycomms highlights the true cost of a bad credit score.

People may not be aware that their high interest fees are because of a low credit score and bad credit rating, causing them to miss out on better offers that could save them money.

Here are some of the fees people could face if they have a bad credit score:
• Paying a £3,000 credit card bill over two years could cost £1,979 more in interest*
• A personal loan of £7,500 over four years could cost an extra £7,453
• A £207,000 90% loan-to-value (LTV) mortgage could cost an extra £14,857 over the first five years, or £78,500 extra over a 25-year term§

Borrowers with a lower credit score are charged higher interest rates because they’re seen as a greater risk by a bank or lender.
However, few people realise just how much of an impact this can have. The figures reveal enormous losses to customers who are unaware of the impact their credit score has on a lender’s decision.
Reviewing a credit report is the first step customers can take to improve their score. Once people know where they stand, they can take the necessary steps to increase their score and have a better credit profile.
With an improved credit rating and score, customers can get better deals on all types of credit. This means more interest-free offers, lower APRs, and greater choice. With this, customers can get a mobile phone contract, or spread the cost of big items over a number of months, such as furniture or a new car.

Alastair Douglas, CEO of credit experts TotallyMoney, said: “The extra fees people pay for having a bad credit score are huge. Taking the time to check their report means they can understand why this might be happening.

“Lenders review a customer’s credit report when they apply for a product. With a bad score, they’re more likely to charge a higher APR, offer less interest-free months, or even reject an application.

“Being informed about their score can help people to see where to improve and how to get the best deals. A report shows customers up to six years of credit history, and how much credit they are currently using.

“At TotallyMoney, we’re on a mission to improve the UK’s credit score. Checking a report is the first step of this process and can help people to understand their score. With this, they can get better rates and more choice — helping them work towards a better financial future.”

Common misconceptions about credit reports and scores

In TotallyMoney’s annual financial awareness survey 2019, they discovered some common misconceptions people have around their report and score.
1. Checking your credit report will impact your score
Nearly a quarter (23%) think checking their credit report will harm their credit score. This isn’t true. A free credit report from TotallyMoney won’t affect your score or rating, so customers can check it regularly without any harm.

2. You have a universal credit score
The majority of people (69%) believe they have a universal credit score. In fact, all customers have more than one credit score. The score varies depending on the credit reference agency that provides the report.
There are three credit reference agencies: TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. Each one has a different scoring system.

3. Savings improve a credit rating and score
Over a fifth (22%) believe that having savings improves their credit score. Savings aren’t a type of credit. So, they won’t appear on a credit report or affect your score.

4. Earnings affect a credit score
Over half (59%) think their earnings affected their credit score. How much you earn has no impact on a score. It’s about how well you manage your credit.

5. Being paid monthly has a positive impact
More than one in four (27%) think being paid monthly has a positive impact on their score. When you’re paid, and how much you earn, doesn’t influence your credit rating.

Over a quarter (26%) admitted their knowledge of credit reports was poor, showing more needs to be done to help inform people.

*Credit Card scenario - Comparing 0% purchase credit cards for someone with an excellent credit rating against a Vanquis Credit Card charging 69.9% APR on a sub-prime credit card for borrowers with a poor credit rating.

Personal Loan scenario - Comparing someone with an A1 credit rating borrowing at 2.9% APR with a best buy personal loan of £7,500 from Admiral, John Lewis P F or M&S Bank – total interest £446.40 over 48 months. Compared with a Guarantor Loan from Amigo charging 49.9% APR – total interest £7899.36 over 48 months.

§Mortgage scenarios - Comparing best buy HSBC mortgage at 2.29% fixed for 5 years with £999 fee at £906.90 per month against Aldermore non-prime mortgage at 4.68% fixed for 5 years with no fee at £1172 per month.
Over 5 years HSBC total = £55,413 and Aldermore = £70,320 = £14,907 extra cost if you have a bad credit rating
Over 25 years HSBC total = £273,069 and Aldermore = £351,600 = £78,531 extra cost if you have a bad credit rating
Based on a 90% Mortgage of £207,000 – property value £230,000 – matching the HM Land registry average UK property value May 2019.

Research and workings by 22.07.2019
A nationally representative sample of 2,000 UK adults, commissioned by TotallyMoney and conducted by OnePoll.

For more information, please contact the press team

About TotallyMoney

With a focus on the one in three UK adults financially under-served by the financial services industry, TotallyMoney is the credit app on a mission to help everyone move their finances forward.

TotallyMoney believes people’s financial data should work for them, and not against them and with more than four million customers, they provide the UK’s only free, live credit score and report.

Its service helps customers understand their financial position and provides personalised recommendations so they can start creating financial momentum. TotallyMoney also works closely with leading lenders, to ensure eligible customers are matched with the right products, underpinned by its robust data, product and tech capabilities.

TotallyMoney is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

We're on a mission to help everyone move their finances forward and gain financial momentum.

TotallyMoney is an independent credit broker, not a lender. Our comparison service works with most leading lenders, covering the majority of the market. Though we may be paid a fee by lenders or brokers this never influences how our products are ranked.

We don't provide financial advice. Product information is obtained from independent sources and rates displayed may vary depending on your personal circumstances. While we make every effort to ensure that information is up to date, you should always confirm the terms of the offer with the product provider.

TotallyMoney is owned and operated by TotallyMoney Limited which is registered in England and Wales (Company Registration Number 06205695). TotallyMoney Limited is an Appointed Representative of TM Connect Limited, which is registered in England and Wales (Company Registration Number 06967012) and authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in respect of consumer credit related activities (FCA FRN: 511936). Trading Address and Registered Office: Chapter House, 16 Brunswick Place, London N1 6DZ. Credit is available, subject to status, only to UK residents aged 18 or over.

We use cookies as described in our Cookie Policy. Continue browsing or click to accept.