Inside Experian’s bid to help consumers boost their credit scores

The rating company reshaped the industry by enabling folks with ‘thin’ payment histories to include phone and utility bills to show they are reliable customers. Here’s the backstory.

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“This is the biggest product launch in Experian’s history.”

Those were the words used again and again leading up to the launch of Experian Boost.

Exaggerated? Maybe, maybe not. But this was an unprecedented, industry-first product that would enable U.S. consumers to voluntarily add payment histories for things like their mobile phone and utility bills to their credit profile. This is particularly relevant to consumers with “thin” credit files.

Over 100 million people in the U.S. have low credit scores, which can limit their access to doing things like purchasing a new car or leasing an apartment. But these scores sometimes don’t paint a full picture of an individual’s creditworthiness.

Consistently making mobile phone or utility payments has never been a factor in determining a credit score, let alone a consumer’s being able to control the addition of that information. This was a first in every sense of the word. It was more than a product launch; the new offering was awakening a new way of thinking about who Experian is as a company and what our role in society should be.

Consumer needs are at the forefront of our vision for a world where our innovations can improve the lives of millions of people—enabling and encouraging them to be active participants in the global economy.

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