New research finds 76% of UK gig workers struggle to gain access basic financial products.

Rollee, a fintech start-up providing secure and consented access to income data, today reveals that over three quarters of UK gig workers surveyed struggle to gain approval from financial institutions to access financial products such as a loan or mortgage. The findings in The Hidden Cost of Gig Worker Living report from Rollee, also reveals that just over 7 in 10 (74%) UK gig workers have been denied access to basic financial products such as a loan, despite having a good credit score.

Of 1002 gig workers surveyed, over a half (60%) of gig workers have had to apply to three or more different lenders before receiving access to a credit card or loan. 10% were successful when applying to their first lender.

There are 4.4 million people working for gig economy platforms at least once a week in the UK today who contribute £20bn to the UK economy.

The hidden cost of gig worker living

The report highlights that the struggle to access financial products is having an impact on the lives of gig workers across the UK. In fact, over half (52%) of gig workers surveyed have lost out on a new home due to being declined by a bank or building society, despite knowing they have affordability.

Gig workers surveyed also expressed the struggles they experienced when accessing financial services such as loans, or credit cards. Almost a third (32%) say it has placed stress on them and their families. Others report it has caused them financial hardship (29%), has prevented them from accessing housing (20%) and impacted the opportunities available to them in life (29%).

Looking ahead, 80% of gig workers surveyed feel concerned that the current-economic climate will impact their ability to be approved for a loan and to help with the cost of living throughout winter and the Christmas period, 25% will apply for a loan over the next couple of months.

A reliable source

It’s important to note that the survey was commissioned by Rollee and conducted by Opinion Matters, among a sample of 1002 gig workers in the UK working in at least 1 self-employed job, or platform job. Fieldwork was carried out between 7th November – 14th November 2022. Opinion Matters abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles.

When a sector is pulling in and creating vast amounts of income, there seems to be no justifiable words to describe the reasoning behind the financial power houses’ decisions.

Ali Hamriti, CEO and Co-founder at Rollee commented:

‘This research reveals the level of financial exclusion gig workers are facing. The struggle gig workers experience is not because they can’t afford a loan or mortgage, but because the current credit scoring systems of financial institutions are not set up to verify their multiple records of income and employment data. And with financial institutions under increasing pressure this results in workers being denied access to products they should be entitled to.

‘Self-employed workers need a fair chance to be able to prove their solvency to financial institutions. As the number of independent workers continues to rise, it is vital that financial organisations find new ways to gain full visibility of self-employed workers’ employment data to assess them fairly, and ensure they are not excluded from financial products just because of their working status.’

Rollee helps financial institutions to make fair and accurate decisions when applying for financial services. In the UK, Rollee is working with lenders, insurances, accountants and PCO fleet managers to provide them with a gateway to gain easy, reliable and fast access to income and employment data.

*Respondents who have applied for financial products since being a gig worker

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UK gig workers face financial exclusion when accessing loans and mortgages