Experian is offering customers access to not-for-profit community lenders, such as credit unions and community development finance institutions (CDFIs), directly through its comparison services.
Experian has found that around 25% of customers searching for loans through its comparison services are not eligible for lender offers from mainstream lenders currently.
People seeking credit who are not able to find an offer through mainstream providers may end up getting high-cost loans, for example from payday loan companies.
This is the first time they have been able to find out if they are eligible to access not-for-profit lenders through a major money comparison provider.
Providers signed up to the initiative include three community lenders: Manchester Credit Union, Scotwest and Scotcash. Experian is in discussions to bring more lenders on board soon, to provide more options for people and ensure that as many people as possible can benefit from this service.
With many people struggling financially following the Coronavirus outbreak, the initiative aims to provide financially excluded consumers with access to affordable credit from non-profit institutions. All rates offered by these community lenders will be much more favourable than high-cost alternatives such as illegal loan sharks.
Clive Lawson, Managing Director of Experian Consumer Services said: “The financial impact of Coronavirus is a worry for many of us and Experian is committed to supporting financial inclusion, especially during these challenging times. That’s why we are giving our customers another option if they are ineligible for credit offers from traditional providers.
“When a customer is unable to access mainstream credit from lenders, some feel as though they have no other option but to pursue other means such as payday loans or even illegal loan sharks. These products often have very high-interest rates and can be structured differently from mainstream offers, which can make it more difficult to calculate the cost of credit and increase the chances of customers spiralling into debt. This innovation with incuto to offer our customers credit options from not-for-profit community lenders provides a much-needed alternative.”
incuto, which is a technology supplier to credit unions, worked alongside Experian to integrate the participating community lenders onto Experian’s comparison platform.
Andrew Rabbitt, incuto CEO added: “incuto’s strategy has consistently focused on how our technology and partnerships enable credit unions and community banks to reach a wider audience. As our work with Experian shows, we will continue to build the channels needed to support this mission, part of which must ensure that ethical lenders are equally represented within loan comparisons. Now more than ever, it’s vital that credit unions have the technology to provide a seamless, digital experience to their members, and connect multiple lenders to aggregation sites, in a quicker and more cost-effective way.”