In August 2023, Demos published its 5th Good Credit Index, which exposed a troubling picture of financial inequality and an increasing lack of access to good credit across the country. The cost-of-living crisis has pushed more households to seek financial help, but an acute rise in “credit deserts” is leaving many out of pocket or trapped in bad credit cycles.

In this policy paper, author Claudia Wood delves into this issue, combining evidence from the 2023 Good Credit Index with further policy research and consultation with experts to propose a series of solutions and shape a long-term vision of a fair, affordable and inclusive UK credit market.

In particular, the paper considers:

  • What more can be done to tackle high cost, unregulated and illegal sources of credit through regulation; and
  • How the supply of and access to good credit can be expanded country wide, but with a particular focus on “credit deserts”.