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Credit issues for two thirds of under 35s with no borrowing history 

Joanna Faith
Written By:
Joanna Faith
Posted:
Updated:
12/12/2016

Two thirds of young adults have struggled to get loans or credit because they don’t have a borrowing history, according to research.

They have had problems getting loans or credit on cards, furniture, mobile phones, cars and mortgages, the study by Credit-Improver.co.uk found.

More than half didn’t realise companies may credit check potential employees when they apply for jobs, while around one in seven believe they have been refused a job or promotion after undergoing a credit check.

Worryingly, almost a third don’t know what a credit score is, and more than a fifth don’t realise that to buy a mobile contract with a ‘free’ handset requires a credit check. More than one in 10 do not know the difference between a credit and debit card.

A quarter of under 35s don’t think they have a credit score, while 12% don’t know if they have one.

The majority of under 35s – 82% – have had no formal education concerning credit, credit scores or credit reporting, and 97% believe schools and colleges should teach this subject.

Tom Eyre, founder of Credit-Improver.co.uk, which helps those who cannot access credit to build a profile and improve their credit scores, said: “Under 35s are particularly affected by restricted access to credit, after lenders toughened up their requirements during the credit crunch. Lenders look at borrowers’ credit histories to decide if they can trust them to repay their loans, but those who’ve never been trusted with credit naturally have no credit history and so are trapped in a chicken and egg situation.”

Eyre said those with lower credit scores are hit with higher interest rates if they can access credit, while vital services can be more expensive. Utility companies, for example, may make customers who fail credit checks access energy via a prepayment meter, which, he says, “is always more expensive than paying by monthly direct debit”.