Real-time data service promises fairer treatment for debtors


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With an ever-increasing array of short-term lending options available to British borrowers, credit reference agency Experian is taking action to ensure lenders have up-to-date information at their fingertips when they background check new customers.



Experian are launching a new service which promises to update credit files faster, and make that information available immediately for future background checks.


Paul Vescovi, managing director of Experian’s credit services in the UK, explains: “In order to ensure people are being treated fairly and are protected from increasing debt, all lenders in the UK need to be able to understand exactly what financial pressures a person is under elsewhere in their lives.”


An immediately updated credit history, with that information made available to other lenders straight away, reduces the risk of applications and loan approvals being overlooked when subsequent requests are made for lending.


To this end, Experian have created RTDS – Real Time Data Sharing – to resolve this issue not only for loan providers, but for all organisations that provide a line of credit to their customers.


This includes utilities and telecoms firms, traditional lenders and short-term finance providers, all of whom can use the service to ensure a customer has acceptable existing levels of indebtedness and creditworthiness, before taking the decision to lend.


Mr Vescovi added: “We are now working with a number of short-term lenders to enable them to share their data in real time and we encourage all short-term lenders to join the scheme.”


Clearly, in order to be meaningful, the scheme will require a significant proportion of credit providers to sign up, to ensure that the real-time data that is shared is as comprehensive as possible.


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