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Credit education by Experian

By Janna Herron · Bankrate.com
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Posted: 2 pm ET

Sometimes general answers to common credit answers aren't enough. Some consumers want more personalized help, and that is what Experian is offering.

On Wednesday, the credit reporting bureau, one of the three major ones in the industry, launched a new service nationwide that provides consumers with a one-on-one call with a credit expert to help them decipher their credit reports.

Here's how it works.

A consumer contacts Experian and is put in touch with a representative who explains in detail what the session is about. The rep schedules the session and sends a terms and condition agreement for the consumer to sign. Once the consumer sends back the agreement, Experian sends the consumer a copy of his or her credit report and VantageScore.

That way, both the consumer and the Experian credit expert can discuss the same credit report and score during their one-on-one session that typically lasts about 20 minutes, says Michele Pearson, vice president of credit services for Experian.

"The goal is that the consumer will have a clearer understanding of their credit and the resources available to them," Pearson says.

Experian has rolled out this service in phases and is just now going countrywide. The response, so far, has been overwhelmingly positive, says Pearson. She said 98 percent of those who have participated found it helpful in understanding credit and how it impacts them.

It's not free, though. The session costs $29.95. But Experian has partnered with some undisclosed lenders to offer this service to their consumers, while picking up the tab. The credit reporting agency is also marketing the service to human resource departments as a benefit to employees.

The nationwide launch comes after a slew of lending disclosure requirements went into effect this year in an effort to help consumers understand how their financial habits affect their credit worthiness.

"We began to see an increase in consumer questions about how credit works," after the disclosures, says Pearson. "We're providing this service basically at the consumer request."

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