Credit services

Evaluating risk and reward of providing credit

Credit Services

Credit Services provides information to organisations to help them manage the risks associated with lending money to their customers.

Experian has developed core expertise in building and managing very large and comprehensive databases containing the credit applications and repayment histories of consumers and businesses.

Our expertise in database management has also led to the development of specialist databases and services for the automotive sector.

Consumer information

rian operates 19 consumer credit bureaux, maintaining information on over 740 million consumers. Our goal as a consumer credit reporting agency is to help lenders make better informed and faster credit decisions through access to detailed historical information about how consumers have fulfilled their credit obligations.

Experian’s clients are drawn from a wide range of industry sectors, where organisations routinely extend credit to their customers, such as financial services, telecommunications, utilities and insurance.

Our credit reports vary by country, but typically include identification information, past and present credit obligations, court judgments, bankruptcy information, suspected fraudulent applications, collections data and previous addresses.

In the more developed credit markets, such as the US and UK, a credit report includes both positive and negative information. Positive data includes accounts that have been paid on time, while negative data includes past-due payments and public record information such as bankruptcies. In less mature credit markets, credit reports contain only negative data.

Experian does not make lending decisions or comment on particular applications, but simply provides factual information. This information is used by lenders throughout the customer life cycle:

Prospecting and origination

At the prospecting stage, where regulations permit, credit reports are used to identify consumers for pre-approved offers of credit.

At the application stage, credit reference checks are undertaken to verify the applicant’s identity, to assess credit risk and the potential for fraud, and to set the terms and conditions of the credit offer.

Account management and collections

Changes in a consumer credit report often indicate change in the risk or opportunity presented by existing customers, helping lenders to drive account management and retention programmes.

Experian’s credit reports also help improve the return on collections processes by optimising collection efforts, locating debtors and confirming and updating contact details.

Business information

Experian operates 14 business credit bureaux, maintaining information on about 70 million businesses of all shapes and sizes.

Experian’s business information is used by clients to set the credit terms for new accounts and to manage existing account relationships. A typical business report will include a wide range of information, such as a company’s registration and ownership details, trading addresses, how quickly the business is paying its bills, a credit risk score, court judgments and a history of its financial performance.

Our ownership of both consumer and business credit information means that Experian is particularly well positioned to help assess the creditworthiness of small to medium-sized businesses, often the largest and fastest growing segment of an economy. Here the finances of the owners are frequently closely linked to those of the business. By combining personal and commercial credit information in one report, Experian provides a complete picture of the creditworthiness of small businesses.

Automotive information

Experian supplies vehicle history information to help dealers, finance providers, insurers and consumers understand the risk associated with used vehicles. We provide this information in the US, UK, Republic of Ireland, Netherlands and Italy.

Our information is used to determine whether a vehicle has been registered as a write-off or stolen, or if it has outstanding finance. A vehicle history check can also help establish the market value of a vehicle, the accuracy of the odometer reading and whether or not the vehicle has changed owners, been damaged in an accident or been imported.


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