In any country a Credit Bureau is a vital part of the financial infrastructure. A bureau of this nature, eg Experian, enables speedy access to valid and reliable standardized information. The information can be used by potential borrowers (individuals/businesses seeking financial assistance), allow lenders(banks/financial institutes) to evaluate credit risk more accurately and to reduce lending processing time and costs. The aim is that this would in its turn increase profitability and improve credit activity within that country.
Ensuring access to credit is a task which involves drawing on a number of resources – with a range of information on credit. Then grouping the information gained and determining standing in relation to credit. Experian credit bureau is a vital tool which allows for a centralized credit reference system or database which stores and collates credit information. In essence, a credit bureau acts as a credit library focusing on consumer credit behaviour. Consumer credit behaviour includes aspects such as how credit commitments are handled – regular payments, no outstanding payments – these are considered ‘positive’ credit behaviours. The flip side is the ‘negative’ credit behaviours – judgement on your credit record, unfavourable credit information.
The credit bureaus have a major influence on decisions related to access to credit and regulates the consumer credit behaviour. Lenders can check your credit record prior to lending money – for home loans, personal loans, or for credit cards. It is advisable to have a regular credit check to keep track for yourself, it will also have the added benefit of staying informed when engaging in decision making! It may even prevent identity/credit theft as you would be constantly aware of where you stand in this regard – reducing your risk of victimisation.
Therefore – it is pretty important to understand the functioning and role.
The Experian credit bureau integrates information gathered from multiple sources combining credit history information providing a rich body of credit information, analytical expertise from analysts specialising in credit and risk management and utilising highly specialised software. This integration provides dynamic information offering a comprehensive or holistic picture of an individual’s or company’s credit situation or credit worthiness and provides great assistance to the credit industry on a whole.
A great and eloquent quote from the Experian Group website is that the Experian Credit Bureau is a “complete credit reference solution that benefits both lenders and consumers in a credit active economy”.