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AD. I left school at 14, after completing little of my secondary school education. While I had great common sense, I had no qualifications to speak of. In time I was able to complete qualifications in literacy, numeracy and I.T. and this led me to a great job, and then a few not so great ones.
Fast forward to now, at 30, and I am something of a money-saving lover. I love to spend my time helping people learn more about financial topics and financial literacy is an issue that I am really passionate about.
Recently I was invited by Noddle.co.uk to take a mock GCSE Financial Literacy paper. Noddle wants to find out if the ‘Class of 2018’ are better with money, and can make better financial decisions than past generations.
In September 2014, financial education became part of the compulsory curriculum, and it was around this time I started Katykicker. This is fantastic news, and four years on it is great to hear that my own nieces and nephews are being equipped with the financial know-how to become responsible adults.
I was quite nervous at the prospect of taking the mock GCSE paper and finding out my financial literacy score – but I needn’t have been! I spent just under 20 minutes completing the paper and checking my answers, and then I waited for my grade.
There were 10 questions on Noddle’s mock GCSE paper, and I received 9/10 correct marks. In the old GCSE grading system, this equates to a low A*. Phew! When I received the mark back I was really proud of the financial knowledge that I have gained.
Now I am 30, and hoping to get on the property ladder in the next year, having a good level of financial literacy has become even more important. I have been using Noddle’s free for life credit report since May 2016, to help me track my credit score. I like to know that my score is good, ready for mortgage application time, and also to ensure that my identity hasn’t been compromised.
Recently, in the estate where I live, there was a spate of letterbox thefts and it transpired that the fraudsters had been applying for business accounts and credit cards, and then returning to steal the paperwork and bank cards. Thanks to having access to a credit report that is updated weekly with Noddle I am reassured that my financial identity hasn’t been compromised. There is even a specialist section on information relating to identity theft and fraud in the Noddle Help Hub.
I love that Noddle offers a free-for-life credit report and their scoring is simple to understand, with regular updates. An email reminder prompts me to check my newly updated score and it takes just 1-2 minutes to ensure my financial health is good. My credit score is a number out of 710, and then there is a credit rating too, which helps me to see the likelihood of being accepted for credit. This is really useful, as I do use credit from time to time, for short periods.
When I was younger I didn’t feel that my credit report was particularly important. I paid my bills on time, I cleared debts down, and I was confident I was doing everything that I could to look after my financial health. What I didn’t know was that there are steps I can take to boost my credit score, and therefore improve my chance of access to cheaper credit should I need it. With us hoping to buy a house in the next year, this is more important than ever. Even today, while writing this post, I spotted an old, unused, credit account which I’ve been able to arrange to have closed.
Financial literacy in 2018 is more important than ever for me and my family. Having enough money for pension contributions, a house deposit and an emergency fund are just some of the things I’m saving money for. I’m always seeking to expand my knowledge about credit, finances and all things related to money. I’ve really enjoyed taking part in this Noddle campaign and testing my own financial literacy.