April is Financial Literacy Month! Experian believes that knowledge is the key to unlocking financial success and is proud to be an active supporter of many financial literacy programs across the country.
An important part of being financially literate is understanding credit and the role it plays in our lives. Experian is committed to helping people learn how to make their credit history work for them. Here are some of the ways we are making that possible:
- We have been publishing responses to consumer questions and providing credit education on our Ask Experian Credit Advice blog for more than 25 years.
- We talk with consumers and answer questions in real time on our weekly #CreditChat on Twitter and our daily #CreditChat on Periscope.
- We train our employees to share credit education in their communities as volunteers through our Education Ambassador Program.
- As part of our commitment to financial inclusion, we recently launched Experian Boost™† ™, a free service that helps people build credit by allowing them to use their monthly utility and telecommunications payments to increase their credit scores instantly.
Experian also partners with many nonprofit education and advocacy organizations to increase consumer financial capability and promote financial inclusion across all ages and demographics. For example, we were a founding partner of the JumpStart Coalition for Financial Literacy, a partnership of more than 100 businesses, nonprofits and public-sector organizations that share a commitment to improving financial literacy and financial inclusion. As a coalition, JumpStart works to promote financial education requirements in our public schools. This spring, JumpStart announced Project Groundswell, an initiative aimed at increasing financial education in schools by 25% by 2025. To find out if your school provides financial education for your children, and to learn how you can get involved, visit www.checkyourschool.org.
Why Are Credit and Financial Education So Important?
Your credit history and the way you manage your finances can have a profound impact on your quality of life. While having good credit is a great financial tool, carrying too much debt can be a big financial problem. Maintaining a strong credit history allows you to borrow money at the lowest interest rates and the best terms, which means you pay less for the things you need in life. Here are just a few things you need good credit for:
- Opening a credit card account
- Renting an apartment without a cosigner or an extra deposit
- Opening a cell phone account
- Getting utilities without extra fees and penalties
- Qualifying for better car insurance rates
- Qualifying for a mortgage
Credit education is an ongoing process. In fact, several recent significant changes could impact your financial future. In the past year:
- Tax liens and most civil judgements were removed from credit reports (July 2018).
- Free credit freezes for adults and children were required by law nationally by The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act (September 2018).
- Experian and FICO announced a new credit score to launch in 2019 called UltraFICO™, which requires consumer consent and will factor in one's banking behaviors (October 2018).
- Experian launched Experian Boost™, which allows consumers to add their telecommunications and utility payment histories to their Experian credit report, enabling them to instantly boost their FICO® Score* (March 2019).
Financial literacy month is the perfect time to learn more about these issues and your credit in general, since it's one of the biggest parts of your financial life.
Financial Education Resources
Experian also offers free education resources on our website for those who want to learn more about credit and credit reporting. In addition to our resources, Experian is proud to partner with many other great programs and organizations that support financial education and enable people to achieve their financial goals. Here are just a few that can help you and your family increase your financial knowledge and achieve your financial goals:
- National Foundation for Credit Counseling
- The JumpStart Coalition for Financial Literacy
- Mission Asset Fund
- Call for Action
- Society for Financial Education & Professional Development
- Identity Theft Resource Center
- Credit Builders Alliance
- America Saves
- Grameen America
By working together, we can help people increase their financial knowledge, overcome barriers to financial inclusion and achieve their dreams.
Want to instantly increase your credit score? Experian Boost™ helps by giving you credit for the utility and mobile phone bills you're already paying. Until now, those payments did not positively impact your score.
This service is completely free and can boost your credit scores fast by using your own positive payment history. It can also help those with poor or limited credit situations. Other services such as credit repair may cost you up to thousands and only help remove inaccuracies from your credit report.