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article imageQ&A: Experian offers video streaming service to boost credit Special

By Tim Sandle     Aug 7, 2020 in Business
Building on its consumer credit product, Experian Boost, the credit score company Experian is offering a way to use the leading video streaming service to boost credit. Experian's Jeff Softley explains how.
With an 85 percent increase in television streaming in March 2020 (as Variety reports), due to the onset of COVID-19, Experian states it has recognized changing habits and strong payment history to continue to help bolster consumers’ credit scores instantly.
Experian Boost, which launched in early 2019, accepts positive payment history for utility and telecom bills to help consumers increase their FICO Scores (a type of credit score that makes up a substantial portion of the credit report that lenders use to assess an applicant's credit risk). More than four million consumers have so far connected their accounts, with over 29 million points boosted to date. With higher credit scores, Americans can gain more access to credit with better terms.
The new service builds on this premise, utilizing viewing habits. Jeff Softley, D2C president, Experian Consumer Services explains more an interview with Digital Journal.
Digital Journal: What is Experian Boost and why did Experian launch the product?
Jeff Softley: Experian Boost, launched in early 2019, is the first-of-its-kind financial tool that empowers consumers to add non-traditional credit information, such as utility and telecom payment history to their Experian credit file. Experian Boost enables the majority of credit active consumers to potentially improve their FICO® Scores instantly, which can lead to getting better rates and offers for credit cards and personal loans.
Experian believes every consumer should have access to financial opportunities and control of their financial future, regardless of breadth of credit history. Experian Boost aims to increase access to quality credit while promoting fair and responsible lending. We have invested heavily in improving our consumer products, making them more useful and giving consumers more control of their data.
DJ: What technology does Experian use in its Boost product?
Softley: Experian aggregates consumer-permissioned transaction data from connected bank account and/or credit card accounts and Experian leverages the data to identify bills that qualify for Experian Boost. The consumer can choose which bills they want to add as new trade lines to their Experian credit file. This positive payment information will be included in an Experian credit file and the consumer always has the option to delete the trade or disconnect their account from Experian Boost.
DJ: Why did you decide to allow consumers to add positive Netflix payment history to their Experian credit reports?
Softley:Experian Boost already supports multiple types of telecom and utility accounts including gas, electric, water, cable and mobile phone. As more people switch from cable to streaming video services, we wanted to give consumers who use Netflix the same benefit of paying these bills regularly. We will be adding more streaming services in the future, but we wanted to offer this benefit to as many people as possible so starting with Netflix made sense.
DJ: Why is financial health so important to Experian?
Softley:We believe every consumer deserves access to fair and affordable credit. With that in mind, we consider it our responsibility at Experian to invest our time and resources to create a better tomorrow for our communities.
During the current climate, as Americans grapple with financial stressors and worry about making ends meet, we believe Experian is well-positioned to help because we focus on using data for good. Leveraging accurate and data about consumer finances and innovating to create beneficial consumer tools will be essential to the nation’s recovery.
With this in mind, our efforts and products have never been only about improving a credit score. It’s about opening up credit access to more Americans and giving them the tools to control their financial profile. Through Experian Boost, some consumers are getting a credit score for the first time, while others are moving up an entire score band. Both examples demonstrate the tremendous impact Experian Boost can have on consumers’ financial lives. A good credit score can open up more financial opportunities with better terms and save consumers over their lifetime approximately $200,000.
DJ: What are Experian’s CreditWorks Basic and Premium products and how are they helping consumers?
Softley:Our goal is to be the central hub in consumers’ financial lives. Our free and paid versions of the CreditWorks product allow consumers to tap into one online resources to manage their credit and financial profile. In both platforms, consumers can obtain their FICO® Scores and Experian credit reports, receive credit monitoring which helps protect against fraud, and access Experian Boost, while upgraded features include dark web monitoring and ability to lock/unlock their Experian credit report instantly.
Experian also recently added valuable free financial tools in the product that helps consumers perform tasks to better manage their spending, assess how they can lower their bills and reduce debt across their entire profile with personalized balance transfer cards and loan options.
As the credit bureau, Experian is uniquely positioned to be a one-stop financial shop, and offer consumers access to the information they need - when they need it - to better manage their finances and achieve their goals.
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