Top dog or bear with a sore head – which financial animal are you?

05 March 2008
Callcredit introduces six new profiles to help consumers better understand their financial situation

With constant speculation around the impact of the credit crunch and growing consumer financial concerns, Callcredit has teamed with psychologist Professor Adrian Furnham of University College London to develop 'financial personality' classifications. The six categories aim to give consumers an insight into how their individual character traits affect their attitude to finance.

Whether you're a Magpie who is addicted to the 'quick hit' of credit; an Ostrich who buries their head in the sand and ignores their financial situation; a Squirrel who takes pride in saving money where it can; a Cheetah who takes a ruthless approach to finances; a Bear who saves one month then splurges on luxuries the next; or a Dog who is less inclined to switch from lender to lender, Callcredit is on hand to help consumers get a better understanding of their financial situation.

According to recent research by Callcredit, it was revealed that a staggering 16% of all adults are unable to say how much they owe.

Owen Roberts, Head of Callcredit Consumer commented:

"A worrying percentage of the population is unable to manage their debt levels effectively, so this exciting piece of psychological research is a positive step in the right direction to help consumers understand their financial standing and take more responsibility for their money.

The six animal personality types are designed to help consumers define their financial personality and learn which traits they need to tackle to take control of their money situation

Adrian Furnham, Professor of Psychology at UCL commented:

"I have done substantial research into people's financial habits and recognise the fact that a wide range of consumers are consciously unaware of their attitudes towards finances. I am a strong believer that if people understand the situation they're in, they are far more likely to tackle it. By coming up with a simple, yet effective categorisation of financial types and referring them to a concept that people can relate to, consumers are more likely to approach their finances head-on and get on top of their money worries."


Callcredit's six financial profiles - which animal type are you?

The Magpie

The WAGS of the animal kingdom, magpies are addicted to the 'quick hit' of credit. They are impulsive shoppers - maybe even shopaholics - and rarely think long term. They may feel disenchanted with their situation in life, no matter how well off they are and turn to credit as a comforter. They spend more than they earn and savings are the last thing on their mind, preferring to adopt a 'live for the moment' attitude.

The Ostrich

While materialistic, the ostrich is not impulsive like the magpie. Subconsciously, the ostrich knows it has not got a true grip on its finances, but day to day chooses to bury its head in the sand, and carry on spending (though not frivolously). The ostrich prefers to rely on loans from family, friends and the bank rather than acknowledge its worsening situation.

The Squirrel

The squirrel takes pride in saving money where it can. Thrifty by nature it abhors waste and easy credit. The squirrel shops around when it comes to finances, investing time to ensure that it gets the best deals possible. Something of a credit pessimist, the squirrel savings tend to be substantial and far outweigh any of the other animals'.

The Cheetah
The 'rate tart' among creatures, the cheetah is a wily financial animal. Always on the lookout for the next financial deal that will save it money, the cheetah takes a ruthless approach to its finances. The cheetah will have the occasional or frequent splurge, but hates feeling ripped off and shops around for the most advantageous rate, always trying to beat the system.

The Bear

The bear is a strong and powerful animal - it's a risk taker preferring to speculate on the markets than take a longer term, more secure route of a savings account. The bear can be unpredictable in its habits, saving one month then splurging on luxuries the next. Bears are high achievers with high standards reflected in their spending habits. Their high powered jobs and no-nonsense characteristics means they can afford these luxuries for now, but may be unable to curtail their lifestyle should their financial situation change. A leader and protector, the Bear likes to feel in control even if this is not always the case.

The Dog

Sensible, trusting and faithful are the three main characteristics of the dog. Less inclined to switch from lender to lender, the dog appreciates good customer service and will reward its provider with its loyalty. Many dogs use credit in their monthly cycle, purchasing some things on credit one month but always paying it back in full the next. Ultimately, the dog tries to live within its means and will take its time weighing up big purchasing decisions, often seeking advice from others.

About Callcredit:

• Callcredit (www.callcredit.co.uk) is the UK's most innovative, state-of-the art credit reference agency, with an extensive range of information and value added services for businesses and individuals.

• Callcredit check (www.callcreditcheck.com) is the consumer arm of credit reference agency Callcredit, providing consumers with instant online access to their credit report and services to help them monitor their credit status.

• Callcredit has harnessed state-of-the-art information technology with an unrivalled knowledge of the industry's needs to develop a range of innovative information solutions. Solutions that are enabling major lenders and a host of other blue chip companies to address regulatory requirements, make better credit decisions, target new customers more effectively and manage existing customers more profitably.

• Callcredit is one of six core businesses that form the Skipton Information Group. The other five are:
• Database management company EuroDirect
Market analysis firm GMAP Consulting
• Online payment service provider, Legatio
• Scorecard development and affordability assessment specialist DecisionMetrics
• Marketing services and database specialist, Broadsystem

Adrian Furnham

• Since October 1992, Adrian Furnham has been a Professor of Psychology at University College London, UCL.
• Adrian is a member of the British Psychological Society, an academic, a consultant on organisational behaviour, a writer and a broadcaster.
• Adrian's main areas of interest are organisational psychology; psychometrics, especially personality assessment; complementary medicine; cross-cultural psychology, especially mental health and migration; and economic socialisation
• For further information, please visit http://www.psychol.ucl.ac.uk/people/profiles/furnham_adrian.htm