51% could afford to pay an unexpected bill from existing finances

Equifax research reveals UK consumers are managing their finances – but also highlights the importance of understanding credit information to gain new credit

According to the latest figures* from Equifax, the online credit information provider, over half of UK families and individuals feel confident that, faced with an unexpected large bill, they’d be able to pay it out of their existing finances. This positive picture of how UK consumers are managing their finances supports the recent good news about the economy. But it does also highlight that nearly half feel they would need to use credit to deal with an unexpected bill for home or car repairs.

For consumers who would need to use credit to deal with unexpected bills, in order to help them have access to finance at the best rate, Neil Munroe, External Affairs Director at Equifax emphasises the important of ensuring your credit report is in the best possible shape. Equifax therefore suggests consumers apply for a copy of their credit report, enabling them to ensure that it remains accurate.

“There is definitely a more positive financial outlook for 2014, with our research showing that over half of households surveyed are prepared for the unexpected”, said Neil Munroe. “But for the other half, there’s still a reliance on credit with two thirds saying they wouldn’t be able to pay this off immediately, adding to their financial burden.”

Comfortable paying an unexpected bill from existing finances

London – 57% (94)
South East – 51% (82)
South West – 40% (32)
East Anglia – 50% (24)
Midlands – 53% (74)
North West – 48% (61)
North East – 51% (40)
Scotland – 52% (50)
Wales – 30% (8)

The use of credit for an unexpected bill that wouldn’t be paid off immediately

London – 65% (75)
South East – 60% (62)
South West – 84% (48)
East Anglia – 68% (25)
Midlands – 69% (70)
North West – 73% (69)
North East – 65% (37)
Scotland – 69% (44)
Wales – 73% (16)

“It is important that consumers feel confident when they apply for new credit, continues Neil Munroe. “We, therefore, suggest they obtain a copy of their Equifax credit report first.”

The Equifax Credit Report is accessible for 30 days free simply by logging onto www.equifax.co.uk.  If customers do not cancel before the end of the 30 Day Free Trial, the service will continue at £9.95 per month, giving them unlimited online access to their credit information and weekly alerts on any changes to their credit file. It also includes an online dispute facility to help them correct any errors on their credit file simply and quickly.

*Equifax Financial Stability for 2014 Survey – February 2014 – 1,158 respondents


For further press information, please contact: Clare Watson, Cecile Stearn, Parm Heer or Wendy Harrison at HSL on 020 8977 9132 / Fax: 020 8977 5200 or email: equifaxbtocteam@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 19 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. In 2013, Equifax was named a Bloomberg BusinessWeek Top 50 company, was #3 in Fortune's Most Admired list in its category, and was named to InfoWeek 500 as well as the FinTech 100. For more information, please visit www.equifax.com.

Equifax Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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