Enids are best with money

Enid Ratahi-Pryor is a credit for Enid's everywhere.

Enid Ratahi-Pryor is a credit for Enid's everywhere.

If you want to be good with money, live like an Enid.

That's because people named Enid have a higher average credit score than people sharing any other common first name in the country, research from credit reporting agency Credit Simple has found.

The Enids are followed by the Joans, the Winifreds, the Nolas, the Merles, the Beryls, and the Muriels.

In different generations, different names are associated with people with the highest average credit scores.

There are two good reasons: older people, and older women in particular, tend to have the credit scores at the higher end of the spectrum.

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Every adult has a credit score, which runs from zero to 1000, and is based on how reliable they are at paying their bills and meeting their financial commitments. The higher the score, the better.

Hazel Phillips from Credit Simple said: "Your credit score typically gets better as you get older."

Hazel Phillips from Credit Simple said: "Your credit score typically gets better as you get older."

Credit Simple's Hazel Phillips said it there wasn't much between race between women and men when comparing average credit scores, but women tended to be just slightly ahead, perhaps thanks to them often having a pivotal role in organising family life, but also because they were longer-lived.

"The data shows that overall, women have an average credit score of 621 compared to 617 for men," Phillips said. "This is consistent across generations: Gen Y (born mid-1980s to around 2000) we see 483 for women compared to 481 for men; Gen X (born late 1960s to early 80s), women score 609 while men score 606; and Baby Boomer (born 1946-64) women score 722 while men score 720."

But by far the strongest correlation is age though.

"Older names popular in previous generations such as Enid, Joan, Winifred, Beryl and Muriel all rank in the top 10, which shows your credit score typically gets better as you get older. As people age they tend to become more financially stable and responsible, and have a longer credit history which helps raise their credit score," she said.

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It's tempting to see names as also reflecting the rungs on the economic ladders that are occupied by the namers.

The bottom ten names were Cheynne, Tyson, Junior, Levi, Viliami, Mele, Krystal and Tiana.

But as those names are associated with younger people, the age factor may be a more dominant factor than the incomes, educations and financial capability of their parents.

Though wealth and higher incomes makes paying bills easier, people on lower incomes who pay their bills on time may well have a higher credit rating than a millionaire who always pays late.

There's nothing determinative about a name though.

Enid Ratahi-Pryor is a successful business woman who jokes that she's "probably an odd ball" among the Enids of New Zealand.

Enid is not a traditional Maori name, and Ratahi-Pryor has her mum to thank for that when she chose to name her after her English best friend.

"I've never met another Maori with the name," she said.

While surprised to find that Enid's had the highest average credit scores, but not that women, traditionally the heart of families, outscored men.

Ratahi-Pryor, from the Ngati Awa Social and Health Services Trust (Te Tohu o te Ora o Ngati Awa) said she owed her money philosophies to her family, where self-reliance, work and home-ownership were all considered non-negotiables.

"In my family everybody grew up with the idea that work is good. That work is the only way forward. We have always had that strong work ethic," she said.

"We have always had that tradition of saving for a first home before you have kids. There was a certain order to things."

All her whanau have thrived thanks to those lessons.

"All of my immediate family, my brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews are working. We don't have unemployment in the family," she said.

She also thanked ASB for its school banking programme, which started her off as a saver early in life, and the Post Office, where she also saved as a child.

Phillips said new parents might be interested to know how the grown-ups bearing the most popular names for new-borns are faring.

People with royal names tend to have higher scores. Charlotte ranked second most popular baby name in 2016. Adults with that name had an average credit score of 611, while William, the third most popular name in 2016, had 711.

The changing patterns of high credit score names for different generations speaks of New Zealand's changing economic order.

The most credit-worthy Baby Boomer names are: Sheila, Lynley, Gillian (Jillian), Philippa, Alastair and Hilary. For Generation X, it's Hilary, Lynley, Gillian (Jillian) and Phillipa with the Asian name Jian in fifth place. The top five Generation Y names are Jing, Yan, Ying, Duncan, and Yi.

But Phillips said: "Regardless of your name or gender, it's important to know your credit score to determine how credit-worthy you are, including what you might need to do to improve your score if it's low."

 - Stuff


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