April is Financial Literacy Month. Experian believes that knowledge is the key to unlocking financial success and is proud to be an active supporter of many financial literacy programs across the country. This month, we’d like to talk about what financial literacy is and what Experian is doing to help promote it.
An important part of financial literacy is understanding credit and the role it plays in our lives. Experian is committed to helping consumers learn how to make their credit history work for them. Here are some of the ways we are working to achieve this goal:
- We have been publishing responses to consumer questions on our Ask Experian credit education blog for over 25 years.
- We chat with consumers and answer questions in real-time on our weekly #CreditChat on Twitter and live on Twitter Spaces. We also periodically host other experts in the field for live discussions on our Crowdcast, streaming on Facebook.
- We train our employees as volunteers to promote credit education in their communities through our Education Ambassador Program.
- We introduced Experian Boost™†, a free product aimed at helping people with thin credit files get credit for their monthly utility, cellphone, and streaming service payments and increase their credit scores instantly.
- As part of our commitment to financial inclusion, we recently launched Experian Go™, which enables those who do not yet have a credit history to create a credit report in their name instantly and offers options to begin building their credit history right away using Experian Boost.
Experian also partners with many nonprofit education and advocacy organizations to increase consumer financial capability and promote financial inclusion across all ages and demographics. We were a founding partner of the JumpStart Coalition for Financial Literacy. The organization and its more than 100 partners work to encourage the inclusion of personal finance requirements in public school curricula. In 2018, they announced Project Groundswell, aimed at increasing financial education in our schools by 25% by 2025.
Why Is Credit and Financial Education So Important?
Your credit history and the way you manage your finances can have a profound impact on your quality of life. While having good credit is a great financial tool, carrying debt can be a big financial problem. Having a strong credit history allows you to borrow money at the lowest interest rates and the best terms, which means you end up paying less for the things you need in life. Here are just a few of the things good credit can help you with:
- Qualifying for a credit card account with better rates and a higher credit limit
- Renting an apartment without a cosigner or an extra deposit
- Opening a cellphone account
- Getting utilities without extra fees and penalties
- Qualifying for better car insurance rates
- Qualifying for a private student loan, car loan, or mortgage
Financial literacy month is the perfect time to educate consumers about one of the biggest parts of their financial lives that many know very little about.
Financial Education Resources
Experian also offers free education resources on our website for those who want to learn more about credit and credit reporting. Other great organizations that work to educate consumers include LifeSmarts, a consumer knowledge competition for high-school-aged students emphasizing financial literacy, and America Saves, which promotes good savings habits and is conducting programs at various locations around the country.
Written by Rod Griffin, Senior Director of Public Education and Advocacy for Experian