Through Experian’s technology and cutting-edge innovations, we’re helping consumers build their credit histories and access affordable, mainstream financial products. We are truly improving consumer’s financial lives in a meaningful way. But, with all the exciting innovations in technology, sometimes, it’s easy to forget the impact we can create in our everyday interactions with people.
Let me give you an example.
I recently traveled to Nashville, TN for a conference. Since I didn’t know my way around the area, I hired a driver to pick me up and take me to my hotel. As I was heading to the airport exit, I saw a woman holding a sign that read “Experian.” I introduced myself and we both got into the car and headed for the hotel.
As we were driving, she asked, “So, do you really work at Experian?” “Here we go…” I thought as I responded, “Yes, I do.”
She went on to tell me she was a Desert Storm veteran who faced some real financial hardships that tanked her credit score when she returned home from war. She saw a commercial for Experian Boost, our new tool that allows people to get credit for paying their telecom and utility bills on time. After trying the free tool, her score went up 11 points. This boost got her thinking about other ways she could improve her credit score. I spent the rest of our drive sharing some credit education including the importance improving her debt to income ratio, lowering utilization rates and making on time payments.
As we pulled up to my hotel and I got out of the car, she asked if she could give me a hug. “Of course,” I said. I was touched and slightly surprised, to see how much of an effect I had on her. Only, I didn’t realize then just how much of an impact our conversation would truly make on her life.
I recently had a chance to reconnect with Renee Preston. She told me about the dramatic changes she’s made since we met that are creating a lasting impact on her financial health.
At the time Renee picked me up, she was $56,000 in debt and her credit score was 605. Just a few months after meeting her, Renee put some of the credit education tips I shared with her into practice. Since then, she’s lowered her debt by $36,000 and her credit score has improved by more than 60 points. While Renee knows she still has work to do, she is inspired to continue to improve her financial wellbeing.
“I’ve been driving for more than 26 years. I’ve met all kinds of celebrities like Pink and Justin Timberlake. The fact that Alex took the time to talk to a little person like me, it really meant a lot. Since we met, I’ve taken a lot of steps to improve my credit and finances including getting a job with a much higher salary. I truly feel I owe all of these changes to Alex.” Renee Preston, Nashville, TN
As a company, we are committed to helping people improve their financial lives. When we talk about being the consumer’s bureau, this is exactly what we mean.
I’m so thankful I had the opportunity to meet Renee. I’m inspired to continue to find new ways to improve people’s financial health, both personally and as a leading member of Experian’s team.