Credit eligibility showing signs of improvement

People’s chances of getting approved for credit in the UK are now 60% higher than at the start of the coronavirus lockdown, according to new research from Experian.

The credit reference agency suggested that just one in four (25%) people searching for a loan at the start of lockdown found a product they were likely to be accepted for, while 60% of those searching for a loan did not see any offers matching their credit needs.

However, because more lenders are returning to the market as lockdown restrictions ease, Experian suggested that 40% of consumers searching for a loan will now see a product they have a strong chance of being accepted for. Of these, around two-thirds (63%) will be pre-approved, meaning they are guaranteed to be accepted for that product.

Furthermore, the number of people that did not see a single loan product that matched their needs dropped to 38% in July.

Experian suggested that this recent rise in consumer eligibility means people’s chances of being approved for a loan is now 60% higher than at the start of the UK lockdown.

“Eligibility ratings give people an indication of their chances of being approved for a specific credit deal,” Experian Marketplace managing director, Amir Goshtai, commented.

“These ratings are now edging closer to pre-lockdown levels as lenders grow in confidence and start returning to the market, improving consumers’ chances of being approved for credit. At the moment, our panel of brands offering loans stands at 79% of what it was pre-lockdown, showing signs of improvement in the credit market.”

Experian’s research also indicated that credit card products have returned to the market at a slower rate to loans. More than one in four (26%) consumers did not see a single credit card they were likely to be accepted for at the peak of lockdown, compared to just one in ten (10%) that saw the same result at the beginning of March.

However, acceptance rates for credit cards are beginning to bounce back with 53% now likely to see at least one lender with a strong chance of lending to them, when searching for a card.

Goshtai added: “We understand this is a challenging time for many and not everyone will be in a position to attain credit. But people shouldn’t feel disheartened if they find their chances of being approved for credit are low. The market is changing daily and so is consumer eligibility.”

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