Which London borough is the most financially savvy?
Credit score map of London by ClearScore
People who live in the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames are the most financially fit in London according to some London-specific research we conducted last week. We used credit scores as an indicator and discovered that Kingston has an average score of 436 – 50 points (13%) higher than the London average of 386.1
The analysis of millions of credit scores reveals South London as a whole wins the age-old North/South/East/West debate with an average score of 401. North London has a score of 396, the West is just behind with 390 but the average drops to 376 in Central London. Boroughs in the East trail behind the rest of the capital with a “fair” score of 375 on average.
If you want to work out how the financial fitness of your borough compares to the rest, check out the map and table below.
The worst credit area of London is the Borough of Newham which has a score of just 344. In fact it is only Sutton and Kingston upon Thames which have an average credit score of 420 or above, considered to be a ‘good’ credit rating. The rest of the boroughs are above the national average of 380, considered to be a ‘fair’ credit score.
Interestingly, a higher average income does not automatically lead to a higher average credit score. For example, residents in up-market Kensington and Chelsea are among the Capital’s highest earners at £131,000 per annum, but they rank in the middle of the credit score table.3 The reality is that you don’t need a high income to build a high credit score.
Your credit score is important as an indication of your creditworthiness. Lenders use credit scores as an indication of how risky you are to lend to, as well as to determine the interest rate you pay. For major loans like a mortgage, the difference in interest available to someone with a low credit score and someone with a strong score can add up to thousands of pounds a year. The impact is particularly acute in London, which has the highest average outstanding mortgage amount in the UK at £215,2804.
LONDON BOROUGH RANKING BY CREDIT SCORE AND AVERAGE EARNINGS
|RANK||BOROUGH||AV. SCORE||AV. EARNINGS|
|1||Kingston upon Thames||435.78||£39,900|
|6||Richmond upon Thames||408.78||£58,800|
|10||Barking and Dagenham||400.07||£23,700|
|21||Kensington and Chelsea||385.44||£131,000|
|25||City of London||378.90||£131,000|
|29||Hammersmith and Fulham||363.53||£54,300|
1 Data is based on analysis of millions of individual credit scores, across 3163 post codes in London, performed by credit checking service ClearScore.
2. Based on “Score Ranges” provided by Equifax.
3 Income data based on ONS average salary data 2013/14.
4 savills data February 2016. Highest figure in London compares to average of £114,167 across whole country. Lowest is North East which owes only £79,534.