Credit Monitoring Analysis, Pt. 1

Part
01
of four
Part
01

Credit Monitoring: Industry Overview

The credit monitoring industry has grown significantly in the last ten years. In 2009 credit monitoring was a $650 million industry in the United States, while, in 2020, it is expected to reach $12.7 billion.

Historical Background Of The U.S. Credit Monitoring Industry

  • Credit reports and credit scores are the most well-known credit monitoring services. In 1956, Bill Fair worked with Earl Isaac to create Fair, Isaac and Company. Their goal was to create a standardized credit scoring system. The name given to the company was FICO and the FICO score system, which was launched in 1989.
  • According to Credit Sesame, a FICO score above 700 is considered positive, while a score below 550 is perceived as negative. This information is available in consumers' credit reports.
  • Until 2019, U.S. citizens could access a free copy of their credit report, once every year, according to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The report was provided by any of the credit reporting companies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). From 2020, everyone in the U.S. can get up to six free credit reports per year by visiting the Equifax website.
  • U.S. citizens have connected identity theft to credit cards, online shopping, and FICO scores. However, there are early forms of identity theft from the 1800s. The rise of technology has created a new era of identity fraud. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, in 2017, the total number of exposed credit card numbers was 14.2 million, an increase of 88% since 2016, making identity theft one of the most common data breach issues.

Overview Of The U.S. Credit Monitoring Industry

  • Credit reports are very important nowadays. While U.S. consumers recognize the importance of having a good credit score, nearly 20% of them stated that they check their credit score, according to a Mintel report.
  • The market size of the Credit Bureaus & Rating Agencies industry is expected to reach $12.7 billion in 2020, a 2.3% increase from 2019. Credit bureaus benefit from an increase in applications regarding credit cards, home equities loans and mortgages.
  • About 15 million U.S. consumers experienced identity theft in 2017. In addition, the Federal Trade Commission reported 400,000 cases of identity theft in 2016, with 29% of those cases related to the use of personal data to commit tax fraud. 32% of identity theft was related to credit card fraud
  • A report published by the Department of Justice stated that 86% of the victims of identity theft in 2015 faced the fraudulent use of their credit card account information. In the same report, it is mentioned that the cost of identity theft for the US economy was $15.4 billion in 2015.
  • According to information provided by IBISWorld, the market size of the credit repair services industry is expected to reach $2.8 billion in 2020. The market is expected to decline by 7% in 2020 due to a declining life cycle stage and a very high growth risk score.

Role Of The Credit Monitoring Aggregators

  • Household debt in the U.S. was $14 trillion in 2019.
  • The big data breach at Equifax in 2017 and the fines that both Equifax and TransUnion received from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for misrepresenting data provided to consumers had a positive impact on credit monitoring aggregators because it raised awareness among U.S. consumers.
  • These platforms use advanced technologies to help their members increase their credit scores and better manage their debts.
  • Credit Sesame uses machine learning and AI to help its clients improve and manage their credit. The company states that 61% of its members saw credit score improvements within the first six months of their subscription.
  • Credit Karma provides free credit reports to its members that are updated weekly. The credit scores included in Credit Karma's reports are based on the VantageScore 3.0 model, which is a new scoring model created by the three credit reporting companies Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Credit Karma was one of the first to recognize the dormant consumer demand for credit reports. The company had reported over $1 billion in annual revenue in 2019 and was acquired by Intuit in February 2020.
  • WalletHub provides a credit alert section in the user's dashboard that identifies all the factors that influence a consumer's credit score.
  • Credit Sesame, one of the major credit monitoring aggregators recently announced that it will expand its business into digital banking. The vision of the company is to use information from banking customers’ finances to personalize its credit improvement solutions.









Part
02
of four
Part
02

Credit Monitoring Aggregators: Demographics

Both male and female consumers use credit monitoring aggregators within the United States. About "half of all U.S. millennials" utilize the services offered by credit monitoring aggregators like Credit Karma. Thousands of people that use the services of credit monitoring aggregators speak English, and some of them speak Spanish.

Gender

  • According to the Board of Governors of the United States Federal Reserve System, gender-based information on discrepancies is abundant within the labor markets. However, there is relatively little insight regarding "gender-related differences" relative to the credit market.
  • A recent study involving Credit Sesame's "nine million members," revealed that men and women are using credit monitoring aggregation services. Credit Sesame is a platform used in managing credit scores (the management of credit scores includes monitoring credit scores in an attempt to repair them).
  • Credit Karma offers credit aggregation or credit monitoring services for men and women. Its services are often provided to "families" if they open "one account per person" and each of their accounts utilizes a different email.

Age

  • Millennials are among the majority of consumers using credit monitoring aggregators in the United States. Credit Karma has over 100 million customers s in the United States, including "half of all U.S. millennials."

Household Income

  • There is limited insight available on the household income of those who use credit monitoring aggregators across the United States. The reason for this limited insight may be related to the promise made by credit monitoring and aggregation service providers such as Credit Karma that they will never to "share or sell" the data of their members without getting their consent.
  • A user of credit monitoring aggregator services known as Clint Proctor has "been a Credit Karma user" for more than five years. Clint Proctor works as a freelance writer and is the founder of WalletWiseGuy. As of 2019, freelancers earned a yearly average salary of $63,488 in the United States.

Languages Spoken

  • Reviews from several hundreds of users of Credit Karma and thousands of users of Credit Sesame shows that the majority of consumers who use credit monitoring aggregators speak English.
  • Some consumers who use credit monitoring aggregators such as Credit Karma also speak Spanish. A consumer of Credit Karma known as Usber, recently inquired in Spanish on the possibility of using Credit Karma's credit monitoring aggregator service to get a loan and buy a small house. Several other users utilize Spanish to inquire or respond to inquiries relevant to Credit Karma.

Employment Status

  • Both employed and unemployed people (including students) are consumers who use credit monitoring aggregator services.
  • A user known as Lindsthecat is one of several students using credit monitoring and aggregation services.
  • A consumer of the credit monitoring aggregator services known as Clint Proctor is employed as a freelance writer and is also the founder of WalletWiseGuy.

Marital Status

  • Several consumers who use credit monitoring aggregator services such as Credit Karma (including Beverly of Pittsburgh, PA) are married.
  • Some unmarried people and their fiancée are among consumers of credit monitoring aggregator services.

Research Strategy

The study examines the demographic profile of United States consumers who use credit monitoring aggregators. We went through several government publications, credible news, and media resources, the websites of providers of credit monitoring aggregator services, and business publications but none of the resources provided demographic insights related to consumers who use credit monitoring aggregators. An article by the Board of Governors of the United States Federal Reserve System revealed that there are limited "gender-related" insights relative to the credit market. Some credit monitoring aggregators such as Credit Karma have promised never to "share or sell" the information of their members without getting their consent. This decision may be the reason there are limited insights into the entire consumers within the credit monitoring aggregator industry. As such, we included insights based on consumer reviews.
Part
03
of four
Part
03

Credit Monitoring: Financial Wellness

In the United States, there are several ways the use of credit monitoring platforms such as Credit Karma and Credit Sesame impacts a consumer’s financial wellness. The use of these platforms or aggregators can lead to improved financial well-being, improved ability to rebuild credit, and improved identity theft prevention. However, inaccurate credit scores on these platforms can result in incorrect financial decisions, and hard credit inquiries can result in a credit score drop.

Improved Financial Well-Being

  • A study conducted by Credit Karma and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) found that a consumer’s engagement with credit monitoring platform tools is positively correlated with his or her financial well-being.
  • In the study, financial well-being was measured through CFPB’s Financial Well-Being (FWB) score, a number that can be anywhere between 0 and 100. The score was determined through a set of ten questions that take into account factors such as the ability of a person to handle an unexpected expense and the ability of a person to secure his or her financial future.
  • Credit Karma has a Credit Score Simulator that allows users to explore how changes in their credit report can impact their credit score. According to the study, the FWB score increases by 0.42 each time the number of times the Credit Score Simulator is used increases.
  • Credit Karma also has another tool that allows users to review factors that affect credit scores. According to the study, the FWB score increases by 0.50 each time the number of times these factors are reviewed increases.

Improved Ability to Rebuild Credit

  • Eleven of the 20 most relevant reviews of Credit Karma on Google Play Store indicate that the use of Credit Karma has resulted in an improved ability to rebuild credit.
  • Credit Karma, one of the most disruptive startups in the credit monitoring space, offers advice or tips to raise credit scores, as well as personalized recommendations for new loans and credit cards that users can avail to pay off debt on higher-interest credit cards.
  • Apart from providing free access to Equifax and TransUnion credit scores, Credit Karma has a variety of free tools that can help users understand debt better and improve their credit scores.
  • Over 30% of Credit Karma’s 5 million website visitors each month go to the website for the free tools, examples of which include the Credit Score Calculator, the Debt Repayment Calculator, the Simple Loan Calculator, and the Amortization Calculator.
  • One of the 30 most relevant reviews of Credit Sesame on Google Play Store indicates that the reviewer was able to raise her score by more than 200 points and is now at a credit score of more than 800. Another review indicates that the reviewer was able to raise her credit score by more than 150 points in only six months.

Improved Identity Theft Prevention

  • Reviews of Credit Karma on Google Play Store suggest that credit monitoring platforms help with identity theft prevention.
  • Of the 20 most relevant reviews of Credit Karma on Google Play Store, two indicate that the use of Credit Karma has resulted in an ability to be notified of changes on their credit reports.
  • Two indicate that the use of Credit Karma has resulted in an ability to be alerted about suspicious or fraudulent activities.
  • Three indicate that the use of Credit Karma has resulted in an ability to dispute items or changes on credit reports.

Incorrect Financial Decisions Due to Inaccurate Credit Scores

  • An overreliance on credit monitoring platforms such as Credit Karma can lead to incorrect financial decisions, as there are indications that credit scores on these platforms may not be accurate.
  • Of the 20 most relevant reviews of Credit Karma on Google Play Store, two indicate that credit scores on Credit Karma are very much inaccurate.
  • One review indicates that the credit score is off by 100 to 120 points.
  • Another review indicates that the credit score is off by 80 points. The reviewer said he got his credit score to a 750 so he can apply for a home loan, but he was surprised to learn, upon application, that his actual credit score is only 688.

Potential Drop in Credit Score Due to Hard Inquiries

  • Personalized recommendations for new loans and credit cards on credit monitoring platforms or aggregators such as Credit Karma and Credit Sesame could encourage users to apply for multiple new loans and credit cards, which, in turn, could lead to multiple hard credit inquiries.
  • A hard inquiry takes place when a person applies for a loan or a credit card, or requests for an increase in credit limit. A soft inquiry, in contrast, takes place when there is no lending decision to be made.
  • Multiple hard inquiries in a short period of time can lead to a credit score drop.
  • One of the 20 most relevant reviews of Credit Karma on Google Play Store indicates that Credit Karma is just a card-pushing app, the use of which could only lead to hard inquiries.
  • One of the 30 most relevant reviews of Credit Sesame on Google Play Store indicates that Credit Sesame should scale back its loan and credit card offers, and recommend only loans and credit cards with guaranteed acceptance. According to the reviewer, applying for a recommended credit card or loan and then getting rejected can harm a person’s credit score.
Part
04
of four
Part
04

Credit Monitoring: Notable Events

Six notable events were identified in the credit monitoring aggregators market space within the last 12 months. These are the introduction of a high yield savings account from Credit Karma, the purchase of Credit Karma by Intuit, the introduction of digital banking by Credit Sesame, the introduction of the Simple Dollar Personal Finance Awards, GoFreeCredit being referred to the Federal Trade Commission by the National Advertising Division, and Super Money receiving funding from an early stage investor. For each notable event a description of what it was, how or why it was notable for the industry, and supporting sources are provided.

Credit Karma Savings Account

  • Forbes magazine reported on October 31, 2019, that Credit Karma has launched a high yield savings account. With an annual percentage yield of 1.90%, this is Credit Karma's first bank product offered to customers. The company partnered with MVB Bank Inc., a bank that has been insured by the FDIC, to create the account. The bank will hold the money for accounts created and managed directly from the Credit Karma website.
  • Once an account is opened, it will be fee free and Credit Karma's customers will not need to make a minimum deposit, nor will the company receive any interest earnings from the account. Users of the service will only see information on the product, not advertisements for other company products. Because the funds are going to be deposited in a network of 800 banks, the insurance limit is increased to $5 million from the usual $250,000 limit.
  • This move is seen as notable for the industry not because it is the company's first bank product, but because of the sheer volume of Credit Karma's users, and the potential to provide accessible savings for customers.

Intuit buys Credit Karma

  • On February 24, 2020, TechCrunch reported that Intuit confirmed its purchase of Credit Karma for $7.1 billion. The purchase will be made in the form of cash and stock. Credit Karma will remain a separate entity.
  • CEO of Intuit, Sasam Goodarzi, noted that the acquisition of Credit Karma will help the company to create a personalized financial assistant. Credit Karma's customer base and services complements the Intuit portfolio and will be used to upsell Credit Karma customers to Intuit's services. Because of the nature of its products, the acquisition of Credit Karma also provides Intuit with access to a customer base that skews younger than its traditional one.
  • The purchase also has the benefit of bringing into the fold products that were in direct competition to Intuit's. Credit Karma's financial planning tool was a competitor to Mint, a division of Intuit, as was its free tax filing tool. Through its partnerships with similar services, Credit Karma also possesses a huge amount of data which will now be used to benefit Intuit.

Digital Banking from Credit Sesame

  • On March 10, 2020, TechCrunch reported that Credit Sesame was launching a digital banking service. The company's goal for the service is to understand its banking customers finances better and to improve how it personalizes credit improvement recommendations.
  • Named Sesame Cash, TechCrunch identifies the differentiating factor for the product from the rest of the banking app market as no monthly or overdraft fees, low cost access to over 55,000 ATM s, and a MasterCard debit card with no fees attached. Additional factors separating Sesame Cash from the rest of the market is built-in accessibility for the daily credit score, cash incentives for improvements to credit scores. Identity and credit protection is covered up to $1 million.
  • PYMNTS.com noted the use of AI and machine learning to identify the gap between credit and cash for customers, a key factor in the impetus to developing the product. This in turn provided Credit Sesame with the opportunity to provide a product to its customers that is unique to the market and that will assist them with achieving financial stability.

Simple Dollar Personal Finance Awards

  • Yahoo! Finance reported on January 30, 2020, the announcement of the inaugural The Simple Dollar Awards. The awards focus on determining the best in personal finance, from finance to services to resources.
  • Categories are the best apps for money transfers, investing, and budgeting, best services for financial advisors, cell phone plans, and live TV streaming services, the best personal finance conferences for educators, the best personal finance reporters, and the best personal finance podcasts.
  • The awards are intended to facilitate smart financial decision-making informed by content with a robust research approach. For each category, affordability, trustworthiness, and innovations in resources and services were considered.

GoFreeCredit Advertising

  • On February 14, 2020, Markets Insider reported that ConsumerTrack, Inc., owner of the GoFreeCredit.com product, was referred to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by the National Advertising Division (NAD) for advertising claims.
  • Competitor to GoFreeCredit.com, One Technologies challenged claims made by the website that the credit score was free, and the credit report check and credit report were priced at one dollar. One Technologies considered this misleading because GoFreeCredit.com failed to disclose that a subscription was needed before the offers could be accessed, in a position that was close to the offer that is the subject of the claim.
  • Should this claim be accepted by the FTC, credit aggregators will be best advised to disclose all terms of an offer close to each other, and to consult the self-regulation guidelines from NAD.

SuperMoney Cash Injection

  • A press release from early stage investor Unitus Ventures dated February 6, 2020, indicated that it was providing $1 million in funding to Super Money.
  • The money will be used by SuperMoney to launch in new locations and to increase the size of its technology, business development, and back-end operations teams.
  • This move is expected to strengthen the company's ability to service its customer segments of blue collar and gig economy workers. These are customer segments that do not access to the services of the traditional banks and non-banking financial companies.


Sources
Sources

From Part 01
Quotes
  • "The Federal Trade Commission reported 399,225 cases of identity theft in the United States in 2016. Of that number, 29% involved the use of personal data to commit tax fraud. More than 32% reported that their data was used to commit credit card fraud, up sharply from 16% in 2015"
  • "A 2015 report from the Department of Justice found that 86% of the victims of identity theft experienced the fraudulent use of existing account information, such as credit card or bank account information. The same report estimated the cost at $15.4 billion."
Quotes
  • "Identity Theft is the fastest growing online crime in the United States occurring at a rate of once every 79 seconds. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reports that Identity Theft alone, accounted for over 42 percent of all frauds reported to federal authorities. Statistics show that the victims that suffer the most significant financial impact are those that the thief has opened new accounts in their name and that the theft had went undetected longer than 6 months."
Quotes
  • "These services offer true value to some consumers, says Eva Velasquez, president and CEO of the nonprofit Identity Theft Resource Center. "The biggest advantage primarily is that you are paying for time and expertise," she says. Credit monitoring and identity theft protection are particularly useful for busy people with demanding jobs or family concerns, Velasquez says. Such consumers might not have the time to monitor their accounts closely and thus are willing to pay someone else to do it. "The best candidate is somebody who really feels they have more money than time," she says."
  • "DIY Identity Protection Both Grant and Velasquez say most consumers do not require the extra protection associated with credit monitoring or identity theft protection services. "I don't think they're particularly worthwhile for consumers to buy," Grant says."
Quotes
  • "Nearly 15 million consumers experienced identity theft in 2017. "
  • "it’s possible to monitor your own credit. By law, you’re entitled to a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies every 12 months. Go to annualcreditreport.com to learn more. (Make sure you visit this official site, authorized by federal law. An internet search for “free credit reports” will turn up a lot of not-so-free results.)"
Quotes
  • "Identity Theft Protection Services in the US industry statistics attach_money Market Size: $2bn business Number of Businesses: 135"
Quotes
  • "The arena of credit scoring and credit monitoring is one rife with contradictions. Consumers overwhelmingly recognize the importance of building and maintaining good credit, and while most make a regular habit of checking their scores, nearly 20% of US consumers admit they never do. Credit reporting errors occur frequently, but consumers are generally powerless to prevent such mistakes, and are left to their own devices in search of a remedy. Despite myriad systemic issues, average consumer credit scores are, on the whole, improving. "
Quotes
  • "Credit monitoring was a $650 million a year industry in the United States in 2009 and has only grown since [source: Kirschheimer]. Credit monitoring services promise to keep close tabs on your credit report and alert you to changes in your credit score. What these companies don't tell you is that alerting you about changes to your credit report and credit score are lousy ways to protect you from identity theft."
Quotes
  • "There are approximately 230 million credit files in the United States. And a 2012 Federal Trade Commission study of just over 1,000 consumers found a disturbing trend: 26 percent of those consumers had discovered “potentially material errors” — which make them look riskier to creditors than they really are — in at least one of their credit reports."
  • ""
Quotes
  • "A credit score takes all the information in your credit report and assigns it a number between 300 and 850, with 300 indicating a very poor credit history. You have good credit if your score is above 700, and a credit score above 800 is considered exceptional. The average credit score is around 680 in the United States."
Quotes
  • "The first thing to understand is that your credit score is a numerical summary of your credit history, based on the information that is available in your credit report. Be aware that, generally, a score above 700 is positive, while a score below 550 is negative, according to CreditSesame.com."
Quotes
  • "Founded in 1956, FICO introduced analytic solutions such as credit scoring that have made credit more widely available, not just in the United States but around the world. We have pioneered the development and application of critical technologies behind decision management. These include predictive analytics, business rules management and optimization. We use these technologies to help businesses improve the precision, consistency and agility of their complex, high–volume decisions."
Quotes
  • "In 1956, engineer Bill Fair teamed up with mathematician Earl Isaac to create Fair, Isaac and Company, with the goal of creating a standardized, impartial credit scoring system. Within two years, they had begun selling their first credit scoring system. Today, that company goes by a different name: FICO. The current FICO score system debuted in 1989 and has become the industry standard. It is a number between 300 and 850 determined by the following factors (by descending level of importance): payment history, amounts owed, length of credit history, types of credit used, and recent credit inquiries."
  • "The three major credit bureaus, Experian, TransUnion, and the always reliable Equifax, track your financial information to determine your credit score. Each of those companies has its own unique history. Equifax is the oldest of the three credit bureaus, dating all the way back to 1899, when it was known as the Retail Credit Company."
Quotes
  • "After the consumer credit bureau Equifax revealed last September that personal data from 145 million Americans had been exposed in a breach of its computers a well-worn corporate scandal playbook kicked in"
  • "Sign-ups at Credit Karma -- which requires consumers to trust yet another financial company with their credit records --spiked 50%. Apparently some hack-weary folks concluded that the only way to protect themselves from a bad guy with their financial data was to arm a good guy with it too. And Credit Karma has built a reputation, particularly among Millennials, as a good guy."
  • "By 2013, Credit Karma had 8 million members, and credit card companies were again aggressively hunting for customers."
Quotes
  • "Household debt in the U.S. continues to rise and as of this year now stands at nearly $14 trillion. Now, one of the startups that’s building tools to help consumers better cope with that is announcing a round of funding and plans for an IPO — signs of the demand for its services, and its success to date"
  • "The credit rating industry has seen some big setbacks in the last several years — first the big breach at Equifax, and then the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau fining both Equifax and TransUnion for misrepresenting what kind of data it was providing to consumers, and for not being transparent enough in its charges. But Nazari said that in fact, this has had a positive impact on the company."
  • "“The impact from Equifax has been net positive,” he explained. “Incidents like these create awareness and the need for consumers to watch their credit and be on top of that,” he noted. “Identity theft from breaches could happen any time.” "
  • ""
Quotes
  • "“Through the use of advanced machine learning and AI, we’ve helped millions of consumers improve and manage their credit."
  • "Credit Sesame today caters to consumers interested in bettering their credit. The company says 61% of its members see credit score improvements within their first six months, and 50% see scores improve by more than 10 points during that time. Indeed, 20% see their score improve by more than 50 points during the first six months."
Quotes
  • "Credit Karma provides free credit scores and reports from TransUnion and Equifax that are updated weekly, and you don't have to provide a credit card to register. The free TransUnion and Equifax credit scores you get through Credit Karma are based on the VantageScore 3.0 model. The VantageScore is a newer scoring model created by a collaboration among the three major credit bureaus to devise a score that is more consistent from one bureau to the next and more accurate compared with traditional FICO scores."
  • "You also get free credit monitoring for your TransUnion report, a credit factors analysis that summarizes key details from your credit report, and a free credit score simulator that shows you how various actions, like adding a new credit card or increasing your credit line, are likely to affect your credit score. Credit Karma also offers a free auto insurance score. Credit Karma says it does not sell its customers’ information to advertisers, but it does recommend specific financial products based on your credit profile and makes money if you open an account with one of its advertising partners through the Credit Karma website."
  • "Credit Sesame: The site also provides personalized tips based on your credit profile and goals. And finally, it gathers all of your credit information and makes money-saving suggestions. If you're overpaying in fees and interest, it will give you options you can use to lower those payments. The site also provides credit monitoring and alerts in case your profile or identity is compromised. Consumers can also get $50,000 in fraud resolution assistance for free through Credit Sesame. "
  • "Credit.com—Monthly Updates You can get two free credit scores through Credit.com: an Experian score and your VantageScore 3.0, updated once a month. "
  • "WalletHub—Credit Alerts The dashboard shows all of your credit accounts and your balances, while the credit alert section gives you a report-card-style letter grade on the factors that influence your credit score. For example, it will tell you if your debt load is too high relative to the income you indicated when setting up your account, or if your credit utlization ratio is too high and hurting your score as a result."
Quotes
  • "Consumer debt has increased nearly $2.3 trillion since the height of the Great Recession in 2009—growing across almost all debt products to top $14 trillion in 2019. And while high debt often carries a negative connotation, the good news is the average FICO® Scores* of U.S. consumers have never been higher. At the same time, overall delinquency rates are at record lows, according to Experian data, showing that consumers are not only spending, but are generally doing so responsibly."
  • "Taking a look at more recent consumer debt trends, Experian recently surveyed over 400 people and found that 47% saw their debt increase in 2019. Only 30% of consumers surveyed said their debt decreased, and 22% reported maintaining the same debt level in 2019 as the previous year."
  • "Among the different age groups, borrowing trends are clear: Older generations are borrowing less, while younger generations are doing the opposite. Younger generations tend to have FICO® Scores below the national average, but their debt is growing quickly. Since 2015 (a shortened analysis period due to consumer borrowing ages), millennials—people ages 24 to 39—saw the largest increase in their total average debt: 58%. The Generation Z cohort analyzed for this study—adults ages 18 to 23—saw the second-highest jump of 22%, followed by members of Generation X—ages 40 to 55—whose total individual debt grew 10%."
Quotes
  • "Many Americans in the 21st century think of identity fraud purely in terms of credit cards, online shopping, and FICO scores, but those are all recent developments for this crime. Technically, identity theft occurs anytime someone steals personal information and uses the information to commit fraud.1 Under that broad definition, the history of identity theft stretches back much further than the first fraudulent Amazon order."
  • "Drinking ages were set by states until the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984.3 Thirsty college freshmen could once simply embark on a road trip to another state that would serve them. With the implementation of a national minimum age, students resorted to criminal activity, acquiring fake IDs that fraudulently boosted their age to at least 21."
Quotes
  • "The IRTC report also stated that the number of credit card numbers exposed in 2017 totaled 14.2 million, up 88% over 2016. In addition, nearly 158 million Social Security numbers were exposed in 2017, an increase of more than eight times the number in 2016."
  • "14.2 million credit card numbers exposed in 2017"
Quotes
  • "The market size, measured by revenue, of the Credit Bureaus & Rating Agencies industry, is $12.7bn in 2020."
  • "The market size of the Credit Bureaus & Rating Agencies industry is expected to increase 2.3% in 2020."
  • "A large part of the industry's revenue comprises income from rating services related to consumer debt. Credit bureaus benefit from a rise in credit applications associated with credit cards, mortgages or home equity loans, while credit rating agencies profit from the repacking and sale of consumer loans on the secondary market. Aggregate household debt is expected to increase in 2019, presenting a potential opportunity for the industry."
Quotes
  • "Credit Repair Services in the US Market Size in 2020. Credit Repair Services in the US Market Size Growth in 2020. The primary negative factors affecting this industry are a declining life cycle stage and a very high growth risk score."
Quotes
  • "In March 2017, personally identifying data of hundreds of millions of people was stolen from Equifax, one of the credit reporting agencies that assess the financial health of nearly everyone in the United States."
Quotes
  • "The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires each of the nationwide credit reporting companies — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months. The FCRA promotes the accuracy and privacy of information in the files of the nation’s credit reporting companies. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency, enforces the FCRA with respect to credit reporting companies."
  • "Starting in 2020, everyone in the U.S. can get 6 free credit reports per year through 2026 by visiting the Equifax website or by calling 1-866-349-5191. That’s in addition to the one free Equifax report (plus your Experian and TransUnion reports) you can get at AnnualCreditReport.com."
Quotes
  • "The M&A wave continues to be robust in the fintech world. The latest deal came this week with Intuit’s $7.1 billion purchase of Credit Karma."
  • "The deal, which is the largest in Intuit’s history, has strong synergies with applications like Mint and TurboTax. Consider that Credit Karma also has over $1 billion in annual revenues."
From Part 02