Our approach to the development of a credit bureau is to harness the power of the data that is available in each market.
The power of a credit bureau lies within the data it holds. Experian's consumer credit bureaus combine information from various databases to provide credit grantors with fast access to information on consumers' credit histories and other important details. This enables credit grantors to make more efficient and better informed lending decisions.
Experian ensures that the data accessed is completely relevant to specific local requirements and converts it into valuable information that can be used to better manage credit risk.
Experian credit bureau solutions can accommodate both positive and negative data sharing. They are designed to be multi-language and multi-currency, to store applications and credit line information for both consumers and businesses (Small-Medium Enterprises).
Details of credit accounts are submitted by credit grantors from all market sectors, forming a closed user group.
Experian 'pools' this information in the Trade Database, which is then accessed by members each time they process a credit application.
For each credit account, the database usually captures the following data elements;
information about the lender
- Business name and contact details
- full name, current and previous addresses, contact details
- birth details
- ID numbers
- employment details
- type of account (loan, mortgage, etc)
- start and close dates
- default date
- current outstanding balance
- arrears balance
- repayment amount and term
- credit limit
- history of payments
- special circumstances (gone-away, etc)
- collateral details
- date of the last update
The most important facet of the Trade database is that each individual account can include a month by month record of the payment performance, typically over the last 36 months. This historial payment data helps members make better decisions when underwriting new accounts, managing current accounts, and collecting on outstanding debt.
Data is shared on a reciprocal basis; members are entitled to access only the level of information that is directly equivalent to the level they supply. The Trade database enables financial organizations to more accurately assess credit risk and encourages consumers to enjoy the benefits of credit in a responsible manner.
The enquiry database provides an online, real time record of enquiries made by lenders in connection with consumer credit applications.
The enquiry record will typically contain information on the individual (i.e. full name, birth details, addresses, employment data, etc), as well as details about the potential credit transaction (i.e. type of credit sought, amount requested, type of lender, collaterals, etc).
The extensive sharing and cross-matching of application data can be a powerful tool to detect the manipulation of application data, providing lenders with the ability to identify:
Information from sources such as a voters' register or a national telephone file, where available and where they add value, can be incorporated into the database to verify addresses supplied on credit applications. Where a national identity number system exists, the bureau may be able to verify identity against official records.
The bureau can also draw upon and automate public information such as court judgments or protested debts, to help identify people who are in financial difficulty or who are unwilling to pay their debts. The public information file often includes details of bankruptcies, administration orders and other creditor arrangements obtained from official gazettes, as well as other publicly available data.
The Experian bureau solutions also provide the ability to generate extra data sources by reassessing and processing the credit data provided by the subscribers.
Aliases and Associations
Information on aliases and associations aims to ensure that all relevant information on the applicant's close ‘family group' is retrieved where there is a ‘financial association' with the credit applicant. This can also help to link the personal and business credit activities of sole traders.
The system creates links between records relating to the same individual. This is used by specific solutions that assist in the tracing of individuals who have moved and failed to inform lenders of their current whereabouts.