Lancastrians more savvy than Yorkshiremen when it comes to borrowing

The people of Lancashire are more likely to know how much they owe than borrowers nationwide but they are also less comfortable with their levels of debt according to the latest research by credit reference agency Callcredit.

The research revealed 44 per cent of Lancastrians know exactly how much debt they have compared to 41 per cent nationally but 26 per cent of borrowers in Lancashire feel as if they are at their limit or stretched compared to 20 per cent across the UK.

However, Lancashire does fare significantly better than Yorkshire where 28 per cent of people admit to not having a clue how much they owe compared to 17 per cent in Lancashire.

Callcredit director Alison Nicholson warns: "The findings of our survey are disturbing. Lancashire is the second most debt burdened area in the UK, behind the East of England, and less than half of Lancastrian's know how much they owe so the majority of people are leaving themselves open to financial fraud or overindebtedness."

Overall men, it seems, are more conscientious than women when it comes to checking the state of their credit finances. Nearly one in five women confesses to being totally in the dark about the scale of their personal debts whereas for men the figure is closer to one in 10.

Callcredit's survey also revealed that people become far more credit-savvy the older they get. Over 60 per cent of people aged 65 and over said they knew precisely how much they owed and 90 per cent said they felt they were living comfortably within their credit limits.

By contrast young people aged 16-24 are the most credit ignorant. Although 92 per cent said they were comfortable with their debts, almost 80 per cent in this age range said they weren't sure what their outstanding commitments added up to while 33 per cent confirmed they had no idea.

People aged 45-54 appear more concerned about debt with the highest number of respondents (26 per cent) saying they are either at their credit limit or overstretched. A similar percentage (24 per cent) in the 25-34 age range feel the same way.

"With identity fraud increasing year on year the serious underlying message from this survey is there is too much consumer ignorance and apathy towards debt. If people don't know what their commitments are how can they be expected to spot fraud before it becomes a major problem for them?"

added Alison Nicholson.

Callcredit offers online access to the information lenders use to assess their creditworthiness through www.mycallcredit.com. It shows people what credit commitments are registered in their name and provides an alert service via text message or email if a significant change takes place on their record.

"myCallcredit empowers consumers to take better care of and more responsibility for the state of their finances,"

emphasised Callcredit's Alison Nicholson.