Revealed: the top postcode for credit in the UK

Credit cardsLive in Slough? Is your first name Brian or Helen? Surname Edwards? According to a recent report, you're likely to have the best credit profile in the UK.

Research from Confused.com has revealed the top postcodes in the UK for a robust credit profile, along with the names and surnames likely to catch the eye of credit providers.

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Brian came out on top for men, with Alan, Ian, Peter and Robert taking the remaining top five spots. For women, Helen was placed at number one with Susan, Julie, Elizabeth and Joanne filling the top five.

At the other end of the scale, Lisa and Daniel took the unfortunate position as the names most likely to have the lowest average credit profile. SA1, Swansea was revealed as the area with the poorest average credit profile, 10% below the national average.
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However, as Nerys Lewis, head of credit cards at Confused.com highlights, being a Brian or Helen Edwards won't automatically improve your credit rating over being a Lisa or Daniel Thompson: "While our research shows the names with the best and worst credit profiles in the UK, people's names are obviously not a rating factor when looking at credit. So if you're called Brian you won't automatically be gifted with a great profile, or penalised because your name is Lisa."

The UK postcode with the highest average credit profile among its residents is SL4, Slough. However, it's not all good news for Slough residents. A report by Experian last May saw Slough overtake London as the identity fraud capital of the UK. The area recorded 25 identity fraud attempts for every 10,000 households, with residents targeted at around four times the UK national average.

Credit concerns

Maintaining a good credit record is key to securing a mortgage or getting a credit card or loan. Making sure you pay your bills on time, building a credit history and registering to vote are some of the ways you can keep your credit score in good shape. You can read about more ways to improve your credit in Five credit score boosters.
Highest average credit profile
Ranking Male name Female name Surname Postcode
1 Brian Helen Edwards SL4, Slough
2 Alan Susan Lewis GU34, Guildford
3 Ian Julie Wright M33, Manchester
4 Peter Elizabeth Evans SS7, Southend-on-Sea
5 Robert Joanne Jones P06, Portsmouth
Lowest average credit profile
Ranking Male name Female name Surname Postcode
1 Daniel Lisa Thompson SA1, Swansea
2 Lee Victoria Johnson B37, Birmingham
3 Matthew Emma White TQ2, Torquay
4 Steven Nicola Clarke EH6, Edinburgh
5 Christopher Claire Williams WV14, Wolverhapmton


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Revealed: the top postcode for credit in the UK

Using a mobile phone to make and receive calls, send texts and browse the web while abroad can be extremely costly – especially if you are travelling outside the European Union (EU), where calls can cost up to 10 times as much as at home.

To avoid high charges, Carphone Warehouse suggests tourists ensure a data cap is in place, use applications to check data usage, turn off 'data roaming', avoid data-intensive applications such as Google Maps and YouTube and use wi-fi spots to update social networking sites.

Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) is supposed to help people to continue meeting their loan, mortgage or credit card repayments if they fall ill or lose their jobs. However, policies are often over-priced, riddled with exclusions and sold to people who could not make a claim if they needed to.

At one point, sale of this cover - which was often included automatically in loan repayments - was estimated to boost the banks' profits by up to £5 billion a year.
Now, though, consumers who were mis-sold PPI can fight back by complaining to the bank or lender concerned and taking their case to the Financial Ombudsman Service (08000 234567) should the response prove unsatisfactory.

It could be you, but let's face it, it probably won't be. In fact, buying a ticket for the Lotto only gives you a 1 in 13.9 million chance of winning the jackpot.

With odds like that, you would almost certainly be better off hanging on to your cash and saving it in a high-interest account.

No-frills airlines such as EasyJet may promote rock-bottom prices on their websites. But the overall fare you pay can be surprisingly high once extras such as luggage and credit card payment fees have been added - a process known as drip pricing.

Taking one piece of hold baggage on a return EasyJet flight, for example, adds close to £20 to the cost of your flight, while paying by credit card increases the price by a further £10.
It may therefore be worth comparing the total cost with that of a flight with a standard airline such as British Airways.

Cash advances, which include cash withdrawals, are generally charged at a much higher rate of interest than standard purchases.

While the average credit card interest rate is around 17%, a typical cash withdrawal of £500, for example, is charged at more than 26%.
What's more, as the interest accrues from the date of the transaction, rather than the next payment date, costs will mount up even if you clear your balance in full with your next payment.

Supermarkets such as Tesco and Asda often run promotions under which you can, for example, get three products for the price of two.

However, it is only worth taking advantage of these deals if you will actually use the products. Otherwise, you are simply buying for the sake of it, which is a waste of your hard-earned cash.
To avoid paying over the odds, it is also worth checking the price per kilo to ensure that larger 'economy' packs really are cheaper than the smaller versions.

Buy a train ticket at the station on the day of travel and the price is likely to give you a shock - especially if you are travelling a long distance at a busy time of day.

However, you can cut the cost of train travel by 50% or more by going online and making the purchase beforehand - especially if you book 12 weeks in advance, which is when the cheapest tickets are on sale.
Other ways to reduce the price you pay include avoiding peak times and taking advantage of so-called carnet tickets, which allow you to buy, for example, 12 journeys for the price of 10.

Most High Street banks offer packaged accounts that come with monthly fees ranging from £6.50 up to as much as £40, with a typical account charging about £15 per month.

Various benefits, such as travel insurance and mobile phone insurance, are offered in return for this fee. But whether or not it is worth paying for them depends on your individual circumstances.
Before signing up, it is therefore essential to check that you will make use of enough of the benefits, and that you cannot get them for less elsewhere.

Overseas money transfers or travel money purchases attract the same high rate of interest as credit card cash withdrawals.

Worse still, most credit cards – and debit cards – also charge you a foreign loading fee if you use them to make purchases while abroad.
You can, however, avoid these charges by using a Saga Platinum or Nationwide Building Society credit card.

Numbers starting 0871 cost 10p or more from a landline, while those starting 09 can cost more than £1 a minute from a mobile phone.

And the operators of these high-cost phone lines, some of which are banks, often get a cut of the call charges.
Most 09 numbers are linked to scams and should therefore be avoided at all costs, while 0871 numbers can often be bypassed by searching for an alternative local rate numbers on the saynoto0870.com.
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