Today, we’re announcing a research pilot aimed at assessing the potential impact of early intervention credit counseling. We know that defaulting on credit card debt is a very stressful event for anyone and impacts consumers’ ability to access credit in the future. We’d like to use this opportunity to explore what ways may help consumers better manage their credit card debt and avoid default.
Many people who are having trouble paying their credit card debt could benefit from the help of credit counselors, who can help them create more practical budgets and more manageable schedules to repay debt.
Barclaycard (Barclays Bank Delaware) and Clarifi (Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Delaware Valley) have partnered on a pilot program in which Barclaycard will offer cardholders who may need help with managing their credit card debt the opportunity to get help from Clarifi. Cardholders can then choose to enroll in Clarifi’s credit counseling services at no cost to them. As part of our Project Catalyst initiative, Barclaycard and Clarifi have agreed to share insights from their trial project with us. The information shared by Barclaycard and Clarifi will be de-identified, and appropriate precautions will be taken to ensure that individual consumers cannot be identified through the data. The program can help inform our work and our understanding of what strategies may help consumers better manage their existing debt as well as improve their credit scores and their access to credit in the long run.
As part of Project Catalyst, we continue to encourage consumer-friendly innovations. Through collaborations such as this one, we’ll have the opportunity to improve our understanding of what works best for consumers in the consumer financial marketplace.