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Study reveals possible link between numeracy skills and credit scores

Study reveals possible link between numeracy skills and credit scores

Consumers who are more confident with numbers are likely to have a better credit score than those who aren't, initial findings of a study suggest.

A study by credit rating service Experian and charity National Numeracy (NN) found that 1,073 out 1,700 people (63%) had a National Numeracy score consistent with their credit score, meaning those with a low numeracy score typically had a low credit score, while those with a high level of numeracy tended to have a higher score.

Both National Numeracy and Experian say they're going to work with other organisations to further explore the link and potential correlation between creditworthiness and numeracy.

MoneySavingExpert.com has long campaigned for financial education and last year the first-ever financial education textbooks, which were funded by Martin, landed in schools. 

How did the study work?

During the study, 1,700 Experian customers agreed to complete a series of everyday maths questions using National Numeracy's online assessment, and then submitted their results to be cross-checked against their Experian credit score. 

It's worth noting that the 1,700 people had all volunteered to take part and they may not necessarily be representative of the UK population.

What is a credit score?

A credit score is basically a rating that you have which determines your creditworthiness to lenders.

Firms, such as those which provide credit cards and loans, use credit scores to evaluate the potential risk posed by lending money to you.

See Martin's 15 things you need to know about credit scoring for more information about what a credit score is and how you can keep yours high.

What does Experian say?

Experian's head of consumer affairs James Jones said: "These initial findings suggest that lacking confidence with everyday maths can have a very real impact on your finances.

"It might not come as a huge surprise that there's a relationship between numeracy and creditworthiness, but we believe it's the first time this will be fully analysed in this way."