Experian Boost™ Review - Give Your Credit Its Needed Boost
Your credit scores can impact many different areas of your life, from your ability to access financial products like loans and credit cards to your ability to rent an apartment, purchase a car, or take out a mortgage. But it can be difficult to raise your credit scores if you’ve experienced some tough financial times that hurt your credit.
Experian Boost* offers consumers a simple, easy way to improve their credit scores. Although utility bills and streaming service payments typically aren’t included in your credit scores, Experian Boost allows you to add them to your Experian credit report at no extra cost. A history of on-time payments can potentially bump up your credit scores by a few points. While Experian Boost probably won’t significantly raise your credit scores, it’s still a helpful feature for borrowers looking to improve their credit.
What is Experian Boost?
Experian Boost is a free feature offered by the credit reporting company Experian. Customers can use Experian Boost to potentially raise their FICO® Scores** by reporting on-time payments that wouldn’t otherwise be included in your Experian credit report. Experian Boost isn’t guaranteed to improve your credit scores, but according to the credit bureau, 60% of people who use the feature see their credit scorse go up, with an average increase of 13 points for those who did see an improvement.
How does Experian Boost work?
On-time payments are one of the most significant factors that impact your credit scores. However, bills for utilities and streaming services typically aren’t included in your Experian credit report. Experian lets you report on-time utility bill payments to increase the number of on-time payments in your Experian credit report.
Consumers can sign up for Experian Boost in a few simple steps. First, you’ll need to create an account and provide details including your name, address, and email. In addition to Experian Boost, a free Experian account also comes with a free Experian credit report and FICO® Score, frequent credit report updates and monitoring, and recommendations for credit cards and loans that matched to your credit profile.
Once you create an account, the next step is to navigate to the Experian Boost page and link the bank account you use to pay bills. Experian will scan your account for recent payments it can add to your Experian credit report. Some of the payments that can be used to boost your FICO® Score include***:
- Electric bills
- Gas bills
- Phone and internet bills
- Disney Plus™
Once Experian identifies on-time bill payments, credit scoring models can automatically factor in this information when calculating your credit scores based on your Experian credit report. Experian Boost only includes on-time payments, so late payments won’t hurt your credit.
If you begin paying other utilities using a separate account, you can connect additional accounts to Experian Boost to make sure you’re getting credit for all on-time utility payments.
How much does Experian Boost cost?
Experian Boost is completely free to use. There are a number of premium features that have monthly subscriptions, such as Experian IdentityWorks for an extra $14.99, but you don’t need to purchase this service to use Experian Boost.
Experian Boost features
Experian Boost includes the opportunity to add utility payments to your credit scores, plus recommendations for financial products that match your credit profile.
Report on-time utility payments
The main benefit of Experian Boost is that it allows you to report bill payment such as utility bills and bills from monthly streaming services like Netflix® and Hulu™. This can help to boost your credit scores by improving your history of on-time payments. It’s especially helpful for borrowers with poor credit, short credit histories, or thin credit files.
Who is Experian Boost best for?
- People with poor credit. Experian Boost often has the most significant impact on borrowers with poor credit. For borrowers who have missed payments on credit cards or loans, adding on-time utility bill payments can help to boost their scores.
- People with short credit histories. Experian Boost is also a good option for consumers with new or thin credit histories. By adding more accounts to their credit report, consumers can indicate a history of financial responsibility, even if they only have a few financial products like loans or credit cards under their belt.
- People who pay their utility bills. Because Experian Boost uses on-time bill payments to boost users’ credit scores, it’s a good fit for customers who pay their utility bills on time each month. If you share expenses with other members of your household and are interested in using Experian Boost to raise your credit scores, you might want to consider asking to pay utility bills under your name to take full advantage of this feature.
Who shouldn’t use Experian Boost?
- People with excellent credit. If you already have excellent credit, odds are that Experian Boost won’t have an impact on your score. For example, if you already have a spotless history of on-time payments and a robust portfolio of credit accounts, Experian Boost will likely have a very minimal impact on your scores.
- People who don’t want to connect accounts. While Experian Boost can be a helpful tool for building credit, it does require that you connect your bank accounts to take advantage of the service. Although Experian utilizes read-only access and doesn’t store any bank credentials, some consumers may still be wary of using this service for that reason.
- People needing improved credit across all credit bureaus. Experian Boost only works on improving your Experian credit report.
Pros & cons
- Can moderately raise your credit scores. While consumers don’t typically see dramatic increases, using Experian Boost can moderately increase your credit scores.
- Instant results. While improving your credit often takes time, using Experian Boost can instantly improve your credit scores.
- Monitor your credit. Experian Boost comes with a free credit report and regularly updated credit scores.
- Only impacts Experian score. Experian Boost can help to raise your FICO® Score, but it doesn’t affect scores reported by TransUnion or Equifax.
- Must link bank accounts. Although Experian doesn’t store any bank credentials, not all users may be comfortable linking their bank accounts with Experian.
- Doesn’t always raise your credit scores. The biggest downside to Experian Boost is that it may not actually impact your credit scores.
Experian Boost vs. competitors
|Program||Cost||Credit Bureau||What It Tracks|
|Experian Boost||Free||Experian®||Utility bill and streaming service payments|
|UltraFICO||Free||Experian®||Savings and bank account activity|
|RentReporters||Free||TransUnion and Equifax||Rent payments|
UltraFICO is a similar program that is offered by FICO® in partnership with Experian®. Rather than tracking on-time utility bill payments, however, UltraFICO tracks how much customers have in their savings, how often they use their bank accounts, and whether they’ve ever carried a negative balance.
UltraFICO is free to use, but it’s only available to borrowers with a low credit score or no credit history at all; borrowers with good to excellent credit scores are not affected. That said, it can be a good opportunity for borrowers with thin credit but solid finances to boost their scores. UltraFICO only reports to Experian and does not affect your credit scores from TransUnion or Equifax.
Homeowners’ mortgage payments show up on their credit reports, but what about if you rent an apartment? While on-time rental payments typically aren’t included in your credit report, RentReporters allows renters to build their credit by reporting their rent.
To use RentReporters, users must first sign up for an account and link their bank accounts. RentReporters will then verify your rental history and add up to four years of past rental payments to your score. They will also get in touch with your landlord to verify your rental history. RentReporters reports rental payments to both TransUnion and Equifax but does not report to Experian. It could have a positive effect on your score in as little as ten days.
Does Experian Boost affect credit scores from different credit bureaus?
Experian Boost only affects credit scores based on your Experian credit report. It doesn’t affect your credit scores based on your credit reports from TransUnion or Equifax, the other two major credit bureaus.
Is Experian Boost guaranteed to boost your credit scores?
There’s no guarantee that Experian Boost will raise your score. The consumers most likely to see a credit score improvement from using Experian Boost are those with low scores or thin credit profiles.
What are some other ways to build good credit?
If you’re working on raising your credit scores, Experian Boost is just one of many features in your arsenal. You can also work to establish a history of on-time credit card and loan payments, pay down debt to reduce your credit utilization, or apply for a secured credit card. While Experian Boost can have an immediate impact, most methods of building up your credit scores take time. Be patient, continue making the right financial moves, and your credit scores will follow.
The bottom line
Experian Boost is a feature from Experian that users can use to raise their credit scores by reporting on-time utility payments. The feature is free to use, and it only takes a few minutes to set up an account.
Experian Boost is most helpful for borrowers with poor credit or thin credit profiles. While the service typically only boosts credit scores by around 13 points for those seeing an increase, it can be a handy way to moderately increase your credit scores, especially for borrowers on the threshold between “poor” and “fair” who are trying to qualify for financial products like loans or credit cards.
See How Much Experian Boost™ Can Raise Your Credit Scores Instantly
- Experian® is one of the three credit bureaus providing your credit scores
- Experian Boost is a free feature that can help you increase your credit scores for making on-time payments for your phone, utility, or streaming service bills for 100% free and in minutes
- Average users who received a boost improved their FICO® Score 8 based on Experian Data by 13 points. Some may not see improved scores or approval odds. Not all lenders use credit information impacted by Experian Boost™.
- Credit score calculated based on FICO® Score 8 model. Your lender or insurer may use a different FICO® Score than FICO® Score 8, or another type of credit score altogether.
- Results may vary. Some may not see improved scores or approval odds. Not all lenders use Experian credit files, and not all lenders use scores impacted by Experian Boost.
** Credit score calculated based on FICO® Score 8 model. Your lender or insurer may use a different FICO® Score than FICO® Score 8, or another type of credit score altogether. Learn more. *** ©2021 Experian. All rights reserved. Experian. Experian and the Experian trademarks used herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of Experian and its affiliates. The use of any other trade name, copyright, or trademark is for identification and reference purposes only and does not imply any association with the copyright or trademark holder of their product or brand. Other product and company names mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners. Licenses and Disclosures.
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