Credit in the Cost of Living Crisis The Good Credit Index 2023


Equal access to responsible and affordable credit is an important part of financial fairness. The Demos Good Credit Index (GCI) is now in its fifth year and in each annual iteration we have been able to show how access to good credit is woefully inconsistent across the UK. By combining data indicating credit availability, need and scores on a local authority level, the GCI reveals a troubling picture of financial inequality mapped out across the country.

Credit in the Cost of Living Crisis: The Good Credit Index 2023 shows that the North of England fares particularly badly, with a corridor of low scores running from Liverpool to Hull. We can also see low scores in South Wales and South West Scotland, particularly around Glasgow. The report reflects patterns we discerned in previous years; the fact we are seeing them so starkly again this year simply suggests that the inequalities are entrenched and worsening.

Our polling and qualitative data demonstrate the drastically reduced purchasing power of households. The cost of living crisis also ups the stakes in terms of the value that good credit can bring to households and the damage that poor access to credit, or access to irresponsible credit can do.

In this report we talk about the experiences of people in credit deserts caught in ‘bad credit cycles’; people who find themselves in circumstances of high credit need, but only able to access high-cost and inflexible sources of credit, that threaten to make things worse rather than better.

Download the full dataset: Excel file.