23% of consumers regret not budgeting properly

Equifax research reveals people’s biggest financial regrets as FCA proposes new rules on credit card debt

As the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) proposes new rules on helping consumers manage credit card debt*, credit information provider, Equifax, has released research on the financial regrets of UK consumers. YouGov research commissioned by Equifax** reveals the top things that consumers in the UK which they hadn’t done with their finances, from not saving enough money to taking out too many credit cards.

Not budgeting properly is the biggest regret, with 23% of respondents admitting to this. 15% said they regretted taking on too many credit cards.

Women (20%) are more likely than men (17%) to regret not having some money for a rainy day. And nearly a quarter of men (24%) regret not budgeting, compared to 22% of women.

25-to-34 year-olds ranked highest when it comes to not budgeting properly, with over a third (34%) admitting to this. When it came to regrets on the number of credits cards taken out, however, 35-to-44 year-olds topped other age groups, at 44%. Over-55s said that their biggest regret is lending money to family or friends, with 20% of the group making this claim.

A third (33%) of women said they’ve never made a financial decision they’ve regretted, compared to only 26% of men who saying the same. In contrast, only 20% of consumers would ‘strongly agree’ that they are proactive financial planners, with 18-to-24 year-olds least likely to describe themselves that way.

Lisa Hardstaff, credit information expert at Equifax comments: "Our research shows just how many regrets people have when it comes to their finances. Many people are struggling to budget and save, with only 20% of respondents calling themselves proactive financial planners. And a shocking 19% of consumers admitted to having kept a secret regarding money from their current partner, with women (22%) more likely to hide something from their partner than men (16%)."

The YouGov research commissioned by Equifax also revealed regional patterns in financial management. Those living in the East of England are the most honest with their partners (15%), compared to over a quarter in Scotland (26%) who admitted that they have kept a financial secret from their current partner. Saving is also a struggle, with those living in the North West and West Midlands (ranking joint highest at 23% each) wishing they had an emergency fund to fall back on.

"Planning is vital for consumers to stay in control of their finances", added Lisa Hardstaff. "Anyone struggling to keep track of their money should create a financial plan, for both their long-term and short-term financial commitments. Getting a copy of their credit report can also help see what current credit agreements they may have."

To help consumers keep control of their budget, Equifax, the credit information provider, has added an interactive Equifax Budget Planner to the tools on its website - http://www.equifax.co.uk/newsroom/index.html

The Equifax Credit Report is accessible for 30 days free simply by logging onto www.equifax.co.uk/Products/credit/credit-report. 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 of 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.


**YouGov survey. Total sample size was 2011 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 27th - 28th July 2016.

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, Inc. ("Equifax") powers the financial future of individuals and organizations around the world. Using the combined strength of unique trusted data, technology and innovative analytics, Equifax has grown from a consumer credit company into a leading provider of insights and knowledge that helps its customers make informed decisions. The company organizes, assimilates and analyses data on more than 800 million consumers and more than 88 million businesses worldwide, and its databases include employee data contributed from more than 5,000 employers.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., Equifax operates or has investments in 24 countries in North America, Central and South America, Europe and the Asia Pacific region. It is a member of Standard & Poor's (S&P) 500® Index, and its common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol EFX. Equifax employs approximately 9,200 employees worldwide.

Some noteworthy achievements for the company include: Ranked 13 on the American Banker FinTech Forward list (2015); named a Top Technology Provider on the FinTech 100 list (2004-2015); named an InformationWeek Elite 100 Winner (2014-2015); named a Top Workplace by Atlanta Journal Constitution (2013-2015); named one of Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies (2011-2015); named one of Forbes’ World’s 100 Most Innovative Companies (2015). For more information, visit www.equifax.com

Equifax Limited is one of the Equifax group companies based in the UK.

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