A conversation with Jennifer White | Consumer Education Specialist, Experian
So tell us, what’s new?
In the fall of 2022, Experian, in partnership with HomeFree-USA and the Center for Financial Advancement, introduced the #IYKYK Credit Academy Bootcamp and Hackathon. This unique program kicked off at the CFA Money4Life Conference, attended by more than 250 scholars and liaisons from 14 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The participants embarked on a 5-month educational bootcamp, consisting of self-led curriculum and live sessions. It concluded with four teams competing in a “hackathon” presenting creative, innovative financial education products for their peers.
Experian also recently conducted a survey that shows many Gen Z and millennial consumers are longing for more financial independence from their parents. More than half of Gen Zers and millennials say they are still financially dependent on their parents. Many state that being able to access trustworthy financial education resources that can help them become financially empowered is very important to them. Our research revealed many Gen Z and millennial consumers are simply unsure how to successfully build credit and are hungry for trusted resources of personal finance information.
What’s the impact this has had/or you hope it will have on moving financial literacy forward?
As we look ahead, millennials and Gen Z consumers will be the biggest drivers of spending and our economy. Experian’s survey result highlighted the concerns of Gen Z and Millennial consumers regarding their lack of financial knowledge and the importance of financial education. Ensuring they have access to trusted financial education and resources is key.
Engaging with Gen Z students and getting direct feedback and insight from students of color is extraordinarily valuable in finding the best and most effective ways to provide financial knowledge.
The highlight of the Credit Academy was the hackathon finale, where scholars were tasked with creating innovative credit education products for their peers. After two rounds of competition, teams from Alabama State University, Shaw University, Morgan State University, and Fisk University advanced to the live finale at Experian’s Costa Mesa campus. They competed for a $40,000 scholarship prize.
After rigorous preparation and two days of interviews and practice, Alabama State University emerged as the victor, taking home the championship and grand prize. This inaugural event was a resounding success, inspiring Experian to plan the second iteration of the program, set to launch at the Money4Life conference in October.
View more here: https://www.experian.com/blogs/news/2023/04/19/iykyk-hackathon/
How do we learn more?
This article by Christina Roman discusses the survey findings in more detail and lists some of Experian’s free tools and resources to help individuals learn how to best establish and manage their credit on their journey to financial independence: https://www.experian.com/blogs/news/2023/06/26/gen-z-millennials-seeking-financial-independence/.
What else are you working on?
Experian continues to be committed to helping young and underserved consumers gain access to low-cost financial services and educating people of all ages on using credit as a financial tool and making good financial decisions for their future. We offer the following credit education resources to anyone looking to increase their credit and personal finance IQ:
- The Ultimate Field Guide to Understanding and Improving Your Credit Score: This new, comprehensive guide is designed to help consumers gain a better understanding about credit reporting and how to improve credit scores.
- Ask Experian credit education blog: For more than 20 years, our blog has been informing and educating consumers so they’re better equipped to make sound financial decisions. We aim to answer readers’ questions, explain how current issues affect your finances, and provide actionable information to help you reach your financial goals.
- Experian Credit Course: The Experian Credit Course is a 45-minute online class that takes you through the basics of credit. Work through this interactive course watching videos, testing your knowledge with a quiz and increasing your credit know-how as you cover topics like Why Your Credit Score Matters and How to Raise Your Credit Score.
- Consumer education resources: Get a good handle on credit fundamentals and learn about how Experian’s services can help you. You can find information on credit score basics, how Experian can help you protect your identity and even see a sample credit report. There are materials available for download along with presentations and other tools for educators.
- Weekly #CreditChat: Experian hosts our #CreditChat on Twitter with a new topic each week.
Tell us more about your organization
Experian is the world’s leading global information services company. During life’s big moments – from buying a home or a car, to sending a child to college, to growing a business by connecting with new customers – we empower consumers and our clients to manage their data with confidence. We help individuals to take financial control and access financial services, businesses to make smarter decisions and thrive, lenders to lend more responsibly, and organisations to prevent identity fraud and crime.
We have 22,000 people operating across 32 countries and every day we’re investing in new technologies, talented people, and innovation to help all our clients maximise every opportunity. With corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, we are listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and are a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.
Learn more at www.experianplc.com or visit our global content hub at our global news blog for the latest news and insights from the Group.
Connect with us
X (formerly Twitter) – @Experian Join @Experian in its weekly #CreditChat on X every Wednesday at 3 p.m. Eastern time. Experian’s public education professionals and personal finance industry experts will discuss popular topics and ways consumers can best manage their credit and financial behavior.