UK hotspots for credit-savvy young people

Visa, MasterCard and American Express credit cards. Photo: Andrew Matthews/PA Archive/PA Images

Leicester has the most financially-savvy young adults in the UK, based on their credit, income and cost of living, research suggests.

Analysis by MoneySuperMarket has determined where the most credit-mindful young Brits live, based on average credit scores, credit card uptake, and the proportion of credit checks made by young people.

In addition to the local cost of living, employment rate of young people, and average salary, the data determined where 18 to 24-year-olds are in the best financial position.

READ MORE: Is a charge card or a credit card best for your business?

In top place, Leicester benefits from a low cost of living at only £1,053 a month. Leicester has the highest credit score among 18 to 21-year-olds in the UK, at 556.2.

Those 18 to 24-year-olds in Derby have a credit score of about with 551.0. Derby’s second place ranking can be attributed to a high employment rate of about 66%.

Despite having the highest average salary countrywide, London’s young people have a comparatively low employment rate at only 51.8%, but this is still significantly higher than Birmingham, where it is 41.8%.

READ MORE: Brits splurge on credit cards as spending hits all-time high

Young people in the South East have an average credit score of 557.2, while those in the East Midlands are seven points lower, at 550.1. 18-24-year-olds in the North East have the lowest average credit score at 541.1 – nearly 13 points lower than the national average of 554.

Regionally, while the highest level of credit card uptake is in the East Midlands, where 10% of the 18-24-year-old population are applying for cards, the highest average credit score is in the South East.

MoneySuperMarket also found just 12% of credit checks are made by 18 to 24-year-olds, with most Brits not bothering to explore their credit health until the age of 39.

READ MORE: 5 ways to pay off your credit card debt once and for all

But with credit history available from the age of 18, young people may be putting their credit scores at risk by leaving it so long before checking.

“The financial decisions you make as a young person can have a big impact on your financial future,” MoneySuperMarket warned.

“Subscriptions and contracts, such as phone bills and gym memberships, are all factored into your credit history, and building good credit early is key to ensuring you have the stability to apply for products such as credit cards, loans and mortgages further down the line.”