Experian’s Live Credit Smart Challenge Helps Five Families Start 2011 On The Road To Financial Recovery

Experian’s Live Credit Smart Challenge helps five families start 2011 on the road to financial recovery
Armed with $5,000 and insight from Experian and the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, contest winners can begin to live credit smart

Costa Mesa, Calif., Jan. 12, 2011 — Today five families received the opportunity to take control of their credit and begin the new year on the road to financial recovery after winning Experian’s Live Credit Smart Challenge. Experian®, the leading global information services company, launched the Challenge to help empower Americans facing financial setbacks to make a positive change toward understanding credit and using it wisely.

Each winner will receive $5,000 to help pay off debts, credit information from Experian and a session with a counselor from a local National Foundation for Credit Counseling member agency. The counselor will help them put together a personalized plan to rebuild their credit and to help take control of their personal finances.

“The economic uncertainty of the past few years has left many people facing real credit challenges, and Experian remains committed to helping consumers better understand how to manage their credit,” said Maxine Sweet, vice president of consumer education at Experian. “Toward that end, we are pleased to be able to help these five families start out the new year right with a financial boost and the counseling they need. This educational opportunity will help them develop a better understanding of how credit works and a solid plan to manage their financial health.”

 The winners are:

1. The Milhoans, from Simpsonville, S.C., struggle with credit card debt and loan repayments while supporting five children. Amanda Milhoan and her husband both have  racked up debt from prior divorces and plan to use their winnings to help pay down debts, start saving for their first home and learn personal finance lessons they can teach their children.

2. Tiffany Pedroza, from Corona, Calif., was recently laid off from her job as a teacher. She wants to find a way to help her family manage the debt she and her husband accrued from credit cards as well as student, auto and home loans. Tiffany has already started changing some of her family’s spending habits, and the Pedrozas are ready to make more sacrifices to get out of debt and start saving for their son’s education.

3. The Suttons, from Franklin, Ind., are as close to financial freedom as they’ve ever been after years of paying off medical bills and debt from chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. However, with three daughters — one who is less than two years away from graduating high school — they need to start saving for college.

4. Nicole Carmichael, a single mom from Charlotte, N.C., purchased her first house and a new car three years ago, which she was able to afford until she was laid off from her job in 2008. While she’s working now and going to school, she’s making less money than when she made these purchases. Nicole is worried that with the increasing debt, she might lose her house and continue to see her credit score drop.

5. Peter McCarthy, a father from Canandaigua, N.Y., relied on credit cards to get him through a divorce. As a result, he found himself overextended without a good plan to pay down his debt. Now, Peter is determined to get out of debt by realigning his lifestyle and financial decisions to better fit his income level and aggressively pay down his debt with the assistance of a consumer credit counseling agency.

In September, Experian introduced the Live Credit Smart Challenge, a national search for people who were facing real credit challenges and were ready to make a positive change in their lives. Experian received entries from individuals and families all across the country. Entries were reviewed by a panel of judges representing Experian and the National Foundation for Credit Counseling to determine 10 semifinalists. In November, the public cast their vote for the stories they found most compelling. Winners were chosen based on the number of public votes and the judges’ scores.

“The Live Credit Smart Challenge winners each face a variety of financial setbacks, and although the individual stories are unique, the themes are common to many people across the country,” said Sweet. “In March, we will launch videos showcasing each winner’s story and their financial journey to inspire others who may face similar challenges.”

Consumers can learn more about the winners of the Live Credit Smart Challenge and how to live credit smart, including credit tips and answers to credit questions, by visiting http://www.livecreditsmart.com.


Ashley Heather
Edelman for Experian
1 323 202 1906

About Experian
Experian is the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients in more than 90 countries. The company helps businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. Experian also helps individuals to check their credit report and credit score and protect against identity theft.

Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended March 31, 2010, was $3.9 billion.
Experian employs approximately 15,000 people in 40 countries and has its corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; Costa Mesa, California; and São Paulo, Brazil.

For more information, visit http://www.experianplc.com.

Experian and the Experian marks used herein are service marks or registered trademarks of Experian Information Solutions, Inc. Other product and company names mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.