One in three consumers (35%) have checked their credit score during lockdown, with four million people looking at it for the first time according to latest research from TransUnion

The research has revealed that this increased interest is due to people having more time (33%), with many on reduced working hours, combined with concerns about their financial health (27%) because of the current pandemic.

The heightened interest in financial planning over the past 12 weeks isn’t limited to checking credit scores, with four in 10 people (41%) setting a budget and living within their means, a fifth (19%) opening a savings account and 16% shopping around for cheaper insurance providers.

However, despite these positive financial steps, TransUnion is urging more people to check, monitor and take control of their credit report and score and to understand its implications on their finances. Over a third (36%) of UK households that are concerned about meeting their financial obligations have received support such as a deferral, forbearance or payment holiday from their finance provider, but even with these in place it’s important to keep a track on your credit profile and think about the longer-term picture.

Kelli Fielding, TransUnion’s Managing Director of consumer interactive in the UK said “It’s really positive to see more people checking their credit score for the first time, as taking control of your credit profile is an important step in protecting your financial standing and understanding what finance you’ll be able to access should you need it. That’s particularly important at the moment, with our studies showing that more than a third of those that have been financially impacted by COVID-19 are looking to credit to help them manage the shortfall.”

“However, the fact that around two thirds (65%) haven’t checked their credit score during lockdown suggests there’s still a lack of understanding about the role that credit information plays; not only when it comes to accessing everyday finance like mobile phone contracts and overdrafts, but in achieving financial goals. Whilst bigger purchases may be on hold for now, it’s essential that you keep an eye on your credit report and score so you’re aware of any changes and can take the right steps to minimise any impact during the pandemic.”