Nottingham, UK, 5 January 2016 - Experian delivered expert credit training to almost 900 debt advisers across the UK in 2015, helping advisers and counsellors guide thousands of people to a better financial future.
Over the course of the year Experian also gave more than 55,000 free credit reports to people seeking help from debt advice charities, via a dedicated service set up to support free debt advice. These reports helped inform debt-counselling sessions and enabled advisers to submit accurate debt-resolution proposals, for example to creditors or to the Insolvency Service.
Unmanageable debt remains a significant challenge for millions of people around the UK. Fifteen million people (31% of the adult population) have one or more signs of financial distress and up to 8.8 million people are over-indebted*.
Chris Clark, CEO of Experian UK&I, said, “We are proud to have given a helping hand to over fifty thousand people in 2015. From training debt counsellors to giving people free credit reports, we have helped families and individuals take back control of their money and improve their financial future. Helping people tackle unmanageable debt and improving access to affordable credit is central to our purpose.”
Nick Pearson, CEO of The Debt Counsellors Charitable Trust, commented: “The debts we help our clients with are often priority debts – typically their rent payments, council tax and utilities arrears – as well as door-to-door lending and short-term/high cost loans. Many of our clients have very limited disposable income, with more than 90 per cent of the cases we deal with resulting in a debt relief order.
“Experian’s support is very welcome. Its free credit reports help our advisers carry out accurate and detailed assessments of clients’ financial circumstances, which helps ensure they end up with the most appropriate debt solution. Many of our clients are understandably worried about the impact of their financial difficulties on their future credit rating, so Experian’s ongoing guidance on credit referencing is also incredibly useful.”
Experian’s year-long debt advice outreach programme incorporated debt adviser training events right around the UK, such as in Glasgow, Plymouth, Durham, Dorking, Belfast and Cardiff, and reached almost 900 advisers in 2015. This included a series of 14 debt advice ‘spring seminars’ organised by debt solutions experts Grant Thornton (recently renamed Aperture). It’s estimated that a full time face-to-face debt adviser might typically help around 400 clients per year.
The Money Advice Trust, which runs the popular National Debtline, Business Debtline and Wiseradviser services, was able to help more than a million people regain control of their finances in 2015. Experian provides ongoing financial support to the Trust and, in 2015, also analysed debt advice clients using Experian’s Mosaic classification tool. This analysis is now helping the Trust improve and widen the important support it provides to people.
Chris Clark continued, “Money Advice Trust helps provide an essential safety net for more than a million clients each year and we are delighted to continue our long-running support for their important work, both through funding and expert consultancy. While we know most people manage their borrowing successfully, some do get into difficulties, typically following an unforeseen life event. This is why we have to make sure free, professional support is available to help anyone experiencing unmanageable debt.”
Notes to Editors
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James Jones, Experian Ltd
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We are the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to our clients around the world. We help businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making.
We also help people to check their credit report and credit score, and protect against identity theft. In 2015, we were named by Forbes magazine as one of the ‘World’s Most Innovative Companies’.
We employ approximately 17,000 people in 38 countries and our corporate headquarters are in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; California, US; and São Paulo, Brazil.
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, 2015, was US$4.8 billion.
About The Debt Counsellors Charitable Trust
The Debt Counsellors Charitable Trust was formed in March 2014 as charity committed to providing free, independent confidential and impartial advice, information and support to people in England and Wales who are experiencing financial difficulty. For more information visit their website.
*Financial Inclusion Commission March 2015 report: http://www.financialinclusioncommission.org.uk/pdfs/fic_report_2015.pdf