Credit Cards

Experian Study Shows 30 Percent of U.S. Consumers Improved Their Credit Score Up to 50 Points in Six-Month Period

Experian's National Score Index further finds 15 percent of consumers with a PLUS Score(R) between 600 and 649 in January 2007 increased their score by 50 to 100 points in June

Three out of every 10 U.S. consumers improved their credit score by up to 50 points in a six-month period from January to June 2007, according to the latest National Score Index(R) study by Experian Consumer Direct(SM), the leading provider of online direct-to-consumer credit reports, scores and monitoring products.

"Consumers are faced with financial decisions on a regular basis that can impact their credit score, and this study provides insight on how those decisions can change their credit score over a short period of time," said Ty Taylor, president of Experian Consumer Direct.

"The current conditions in the real estate market are an example of why it is important for consumers to understand how practices such as maintaining low credit card balances, paying bills on time and opening new credit accounts only as needed can affect their credit score."

The Experian study also examined the movement of credit scores among different score groups. The groups were based on 50-point increments from a minimum of 400 to 449 to a maximum of 800 to 849. Twenty percent of consumers with a credit score between 650 and 699 in January improved their score to between 700 and 749 in June. Fourteen percent of consumers with a credit score between 700 and 749 in January improved their score to between 750 and 799 in June.

Statewide, 33 percent of consumers in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Vermont improved their credit score by up to 50 points from January to June, leading the nation. The average credit score for consumers in North Dakota is 716, in South Dakota it is 718, and in Vermont it is 713. For additional survey results, visit Experian's National Score Index Web site at http://www.nationalscoreindex.com/.
The study also found that:

* 41 percent of the U.S. population showed no change in their credit
score from January to June 2007
* 2 percent of the U.S. population had their credit score improve by 51
to 100 points from January to June 2007, whereas 3 percent of U.S.
consumers saw their score drop 51 to 100 points during the same time
period
* Nationwide, 23 percent of consumers had their credit score drop up to
50 points from January to June 2007

Experian Consumer Direct empowers consumers by offering products and information through Web sites such as http://www.freecreditreport.com/ to help them proactively handle their personal finances conveniently and securely online. Products include credit reports from all three national credit reporting companies, credit scores with an explanation of positive and negative factors that can affect a consumer's credit score, and credit monitoring products that provide daily monitoring of their Experian credit report or all three national credit reports.
More information about Experian's National Score Index study plus additional credit data at the state and local levels can be found at http://www.nationalscoreindex.com/. This study used Experian data as of June 2007.

About Experian's National Score Index
Experian's National Score Index study is based on a nationwide sampling of 2 million consumer credit files. Using the PLUS Score(R) model, the national average credit score for April to August 2007 was 692. Experian's National Score Index Web site is updated monthly with the most recent Experian data on U.S. consumers' credit and is a powerful indicator of the nation's overall financial health. In addition to providing average credit scores for the nation, regions, states and local areas, the National Score Index monitors several other components of consumer credit behavior, including average debt, credit utilization, late payments and credit inquiries.

About Experian Consumer Direct
Experian Consumer Direct is part of Experian Interactive(SM) and a market leader for online credit reports, scores and monitoring products delivered directly to consumers through Web sites such as http://www.freecreditreport.com/. Among its products, the business provides consumers with instant access to their credit report and credit score, plus credit monitoring products that monitor all three national credit reports daily and include identity theft insurance and fraud resolution. Experian Consumer Direct has established integrated, co-branded partnerships with leading online financial destinations that provide consumers with a broad range of comprehensive online financial products and information essential to managing one's financial life. For more information, visit http://www.experian.com/.

About Experian
Experian(R) is a global leader in providing information, analytical and marketing services to organizations and consumers to help manage the risk and reward of commercial and financial decisions. Combining its unique information tools and deep understanding of individuals, markets and economies, Experian partners with organizations around the world to establish and strengthen customer relationships and provide their businesses with competitive advantage. For consumers, Experian delivers critical information that enables them to make financial and purchasing decisions with greater control and confidence. Clients include organizations from financial services, retail and catalog, telecommunications, utilities, media, insurance, automotive, leisure, e-commerce, manufacturing, property and government sectors.

Experian Group Limited is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. It has corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, and operational headquarters in Costa Mesa, Calif., and Nottingham, UK. Experian employs approximately 15,500 people in 36 countries worldwide, supporting clients in more than 65 countries. Annual sales are in excess of $3.8 billion.

For more information, visit the Group's Web site at http://www.experiangroup.com/.

Experian and the marks used herein are service marks or registered trademarks of Experian Information Solutions, Inc. Other product and company names mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Source: Experian Consumer Direct
IRVINE, Calif., Oct. 16, 2007 /PRNewswire/ --

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