Experian offers its Affordability Passport to debt charities and lenders for free in response to the Coronavirus outbreak

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Source: Experian

The Open Banking tool allows people to share their credit report and transaction data via a secure platform, providing a clear picture of an individual’s financial circumstances and commitments in rapid time. This insight can be hugely helpful to organisations as they look to identify any customers who could be left vulnerable due to changes in their circumstances – and offer them the right level of support they need, such as payment breaks.

The service will be available for free for three months. Organisations which are already using the Affordability Passport include Money Advice Scotland, with clients now able to quickly share their transaction data with the charity, so they can offer them the most appropriate advice.

Lisa Fretwell from Experian said: “We are experiencing an extraordinary time and millions of households will be worried about their financial circumstances and how it may change in the months ahead.

“The passport provides a comprehensive picture of someone’s income and expenditure including their credit commitments, giving deeper and richer insight into their situation. By making it widely available, we hope it will help organisations in supporting those who could become financially vulnerable because of the current outbreak.”

Even before the Coronavirus emerged, dealing with problem debt is increasingly complex as advisers confront the repercussions of a decade of welfare reform, stagnating incomes, and rising personal debt levels among households on the lowest incomes.

Making use of Open Banking innovation means it’s now possible to help those with debt problems get access to a complete picture of their financial circumstances in a matter of minutes, so they are prepared for their first appointment and can start getting help straight away. This frees up valuable time for agencies to focus on specialist advice.

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