Having good credit can improve your financial health. Even a small increase in your credit scores may lead to significant savings on interest payments for big purchases.
Unfortunately, building good credit can be challenging. Most lenders want to see a good credit scores before providing a loan, but you typically need a loan to build your credit history in the first place.
Experian Boost offers a unique opportunity to build your credit score without any credit accounts. Our Experian Boost review can help you determine if this service can help you improve your credit score.
Experian Boost can help you build credit based on the on-time payments you are already making to utility companies and streaming services.
Ease of use
Ability to build credit
- Add positive information
- Proven results
- Checking account payments required
- Only reports to Experian
What is Experian Boost?
Experian Boost was created by Experian. With this relatively new service, the bureau offers an opportunity to use utility payments as positive information for your credit report.
The idea is that, if you need credit repair or building support, these payments will give your credit score a boost. In some cases, the boost might even be instantaneous.
Basically, if you regularly pay your bills on time but don’t have a credit account, then the decision to use Experian Boost could be a game-changer for you by helping you build your credit history.
How Does Experian Boost Work
Experian Boost essentially “boosts” your credit score. But how exactly does it work, and what impact can it have on your credit report?
The process starts by signing up for a free Experian Boost account. Once you create an account, Experian will ask you to connect to the bank account that you use to pay your bills.
It’s important to note that Experian only accesses your bank account to read information. It won’t have any access to your money.
Once Experian Boost can see your transactions from your financial institution, it will scan for on-time payments for certain bills.
As of now, these bills include:
- Utility payments
- Cell phone services
- Streaming services
In order for a bill to be eligible, there must be a record of at least three months of payments within a six-month period. If you want any payments excluded from your Experian credit files, you can let Experian know.
When this positive payment history information is added to your credit file, it should give your score the boost you are looking for.
Since Experian Boost only pulls positive information from your bank account, there’s no chance that your credit scores will suffer at the hands of Experian Boost. It can only have a beneficial impact on your credit history.
Is Experian Boost safe?
Yes. This service is safe to use. The system implements 256-bit encryption to keep your bank records safe.
Additionally, the company will only have access to read your information. It won’t be able to make any changes to your account.
How Much Does Experian Boost Cost?
You might be surprised to learn that Experian Boost is absolutely free to use.
You won’t have to pay a dime to use this credit score boosting service. This differs from many other credit building services currently on the market.
When considering Experian Boost, the features are what make it an exciting opportunity.
Reports Payment Information for Non-Credit Accounts
Payment history accounts for 35% of your FICO credit score. As the biggest part of your credit report, it’s clear that a history of on-time payments is critical for building good credit and improving your credit history.
Traditionally, only credit accounts are reported on your credit reports. These include loan payments or lines of credit that you make payments to. For example, credit cards and auto loans are considered credit accounts.
But, chances are that credit accounts aren’t the only bills in your budget. After all, most of us pay for utilities, cell phone services and streaming services.
If you are making consistent payments to one of these non-credit accounts, that can feel unfair since it’s not impacting your credit report.
Experian Boost changes this by reporting payment information from several different types of accounts to help build your credit history.
Here are the account types that Experian Boost can report:
- Cell phone
- Streaming services like Netflix and Hulu
While common utility payments are included, Experian Boost currently does not consider rent payments.
In order for the account to be included, you must have made at least three payments in the last six months.
Importantly, Experian Boost will only report positive payment history. So, if you have missed payments, those won’t show up on your credit report.
This means that the service can only help, not hurt, your credit scores.
Improve Your Credit Score
According to Experian, the average Experian Boost user improved their FICO score by 13 points. This can be a major benefit when it comes to your personal finances.
With even a small credit score boost, you could unlock better financing terms to save yourself thousands on major purchases. This is especially true if the boost gets your Experian credit score over the threshold from fair to good.
Experian Boost is a useful option for those with a thin credit file. It will add information to your account that will expand your credit report.
Easy to Use
Experian Boost offers the chance to improve your credit score for free. Plus, you won’t have to wade through a time-consuming process to do so.
It should only take a few minutes to start using Experian Boost. Once you connect your bank account, Experian will automatically search for payment information.
You’ll have the chance to verify the positive payment history that you’d like added to your file. If one of your subscription or utility payments isn’t showing up, you can contact Experian to see what the hold-up is.
But, with thousands of utility providers connected, yours should already be in the system.
Includes Credit Monitoring and Alerts
Experian Boost comes with many of the regular benefits that an Experian account offers. Specifically, you’ll have free access to credit monitoring and alerts.
With that, Experian will update you if there are any issues with your credit reports. Plus, it will ping you when any new credit activity is happening.
Dark Web Surveillance Report
No one wants their information on the dark web. But how can you find out if it’s there?
Experian Boost can help with that. The service provides a free dark web surveillance report. Within the report, you’ll see if any of your information has been compromised.
If it has, it’s time to make some changes to your passwords.
Access Your Experian Credit Report and FICO Score
When you want to give your credit a boost, it’s a good idea to understand where you are starting from. Experian Boost makes that easy by providing access to your Experian Credit Report and FICO Score.
With this information, you can start to work towards a better score.
Focuses on FICO Scores
Although Experian Boost will only add your positive payment history to your credit file, the service will only help you at one credit bureau. This data is only added to your Experian credit report.
Unfortunately, this means that your credit reports on file at TransUnion and Equifax will not receive this positive information. Only your FICO score will be impacted.
As a result, you might have major score discrepancies across the credit bureaus.
If a lender checks your score with another credit bureau, then you might not qualify for the loan or you may receive a higher interest rate than you would with a lender who considers your FICO score.
The good news is that most lenders only review FICO scores, so having this service only impact your Experian credit report shouldn’t be a huge deterrent when you are evaluating this service.
Experian Boost Reviews
Every financial service has advantages and disadvantages. The great thing about customer reviews is it’s easy to see what people like and don’t like about a service. You can use that intel to decide if a service is a good fit for your needs.
Here’s how Experian Boost stacks up on various rating websites:
|Website||Ranking||Number of Reviews|
|Trustpilot||3.7 out of 5||49,000+|
|Google Play||4.7 out of 5||365,000+|
|Apple App Store||4.8 out of 5||Over 1.8 million|
|BBB||1.03 out of 5||290+|
Here’s some feedback that users left on different websites:
“I was able to bring my credit score from 626 to a 723 with in the 4 month. I greatly recommend it you get notified when something changes your score whether is positive or negative. App keeps you informed.” – Maria Ramirez
“This was a joke for the boost only to give me 4 points won’t recommend this or use this again” – Leonard Trejo
“I love the boost. The boost sent my credit score up.” – Angela Ross
“Is a long way away from when it should be implemented. Not up to par as of yet. Don’t bother.” – Gary Jordan
Alternatives To Experian Boost
Experian Boost won’t be the right fit for everyone. Specifically, it isn’t ideal for those who primarily use a credit card or work with a lender that doesn’t evaluate FICO scores.
Fortunately, Experian Boost is not the only way to build a better credit score. Better yet, you don’t need to go through a credit card issuer if you don’t want to use Experian Boost. You have other options.
From other companies that let you build credit by paying subscription fees to credit builder loans to credit-building debit cards and more, here are a few of the top Experian Boost alternatives.
Credit Strong offers a credit builder loan that basically forces you to build savings into your budget.
It’s important to note that you won’t receive the funds upfront. Instead, the company will put your funds into a savings account. You’ll receive the principal value of your loan at the end of your loan term.
Credit Strong reports that it can build the average user’s credit score by 70 points in one year. That’s a much bigger boost than Experian claims to give. However, this is a more involved option.
Extra is a debit card that offers you the chance to build your credit scores by spending the funds already in your bank account. This means that you won’t have to carefully watch your credit limit.
Instead, Extra will connect to your bank account. When you spend money, Extra will cover the cost. The next day, you’ll pay Extra back.
Each month, Extra reports the sum of your payments to Experian and Equifax, helping to build your credit report.
Although there is a fee to use this card, it could be the right move for your credit scores.
Grow Credit is a service that is designed to help you build credit by paying your online subscriptions each month. In that sense, it’s very similar to Experian Boost.
The major difference between the services is that you’ll use a Grow Credit Mastercard to pay for your online subscriptions every month. Experian Boost just reviews your bank transactions with no new card required.
When you use the Grow Credit Mastercard, your balance will be automatically paid off through your connected bank account. Each month, this on-time payment is reported to all three credit bureaus.
If you are looking to give your credit score a boost across all the credit bureaus, then Grow Credit is a good option. There’s even a free plan to help you get started.
Self offers credit builder loans to borrowers. With automatic payments and the ability to track your credit score, it can be easy to build a history of on-time payments.
Importantly, you won’t receive the principal from a credit builder loan upfront. Instead, Self will set up a CD account for you to store the funds.
As you make payments, Self will report those to the three major credit bureaus. You’ll receive the principal balance when you pay off the loan.
Keep in mind that you’ll incur interest fees that range from 14% to 16%. Plus, loan terms range between 12 and 24 months.
If you still have questions about Experian Boost, these answers might be able to help you determine if the service is right for you.
No. This service only adds positive payment history to your credit file. Since it doesn’t add negative information, this service cannot hurt your credit score.
Experian Boost works by reporting your positive payments to Experian. In turn, it will only impact your FICO score. The additional payment information won’t be reported to the other major credit bureaus, it only impacts your Experian data.
If you run into any issues with your account, you can reach out to customer support. The options include a contact form on their website and a customer support line at 866-617-1894.
When making a call, have your member ID ready to expedite the process.
When you are building credit, don’t underestimate the importance of time and a positive payment history. Although you likely won’t see the results of credit-building strategies overnight, Experian Boost can help you in the long run.
As you build credit, this free service definitely won’t hurt. If you know that you make regular on-time payments for utilities or streaming services, tapping into that payment history could be a boon to your credit score.