Having a good credit score can have major impacts on the way in which you live your life. The problem is that typically improving your score from bad to good and beyond to excellent can take a long time. But through Experian, improving your credit score doesn’t have to be overly complicated or long-winded. With free services like Experian Boost you’re able to improve your score all for simply showing bills you already pay. Here we’ll look at the ins and outs of Experian and if it is the right fit to guide you on your credit-building journey.
“So, What is Experian Boost?”
While many credit score companies pull information from the three major federal credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax), you can see from the name Experian actually is one of the credit bureaus. This means cutting out the middle man. What credit bureaus do is pull information from public records on an individual from lenders like banks, credit card providers, and mortgage lenders as well as collection companies.
Experian is able to provide a credit report history that shows all of your current debt, payments, or other items of information like bankruptcies. In turn from that report, they are then able to determine your FICO credit score. A number ranging from 300 (poor) to 850 (excellent). There are some positive results when using Experian Boost. We’ll see them here.
Boost Your Credit Score Just for Signing Up
One of the greatest features about using Experian is that by simply signing up for your account you get a boost to your FICO credit score. When using Experian Boost you can increase your score by simply connecting the system to your bank to illustrate all the bills you’re already paying. Things like electric, gas, car, phone, and most recently – Netflix! This is a free service to use and has raised the score of over 60% of users who take advantage of Experian Boost.
How Does It Work?
It’s free to use and anyone who wants can sign up. Create an account or log in and get over to the “Boost” page (you can’t miss it as they direct you there). You’ll be asked to connect a bank account (or multiple accounts) that you use to pay your monthly bills. If you’re concerned about granting third party access to your account, don’t be. Experian illustrates that they only access “read-only” data from your bank, nothing is touched or moved. After your account is connected the service scans all your transactions to things like on-time utility payments, phone bills, etc. Experian also looks only at positive payment history (it will not report any negative information which could theoretically lower your score). Note: Experian will need a minimum of 3 months of payment history within a 6 month period for the Boost to take effect.
Benefits of Using Experian Boost
There are a lot of benefits to a free or paid membership with Experian.
- New credit scores go into effect immediately.
- FICO credit score tracking
- 256-Bit SSL security encryption
- Free service
- Working directly with one of the three federal credit bureaus
- Loads of service options for the paid account
- The free 7-day premium trial period for all features.
- and more
Downsides of Using Experian Boost
There really isn’t much negative about using Experian Boost, both for the free or paid accounts. That being said the only downside is there is not guarantee it will boost your credit score. If you pay your utilities and phone bills using a credit card, for example, this will not boost your score. Also, Experian’s FICO score uses FICO Score 8. Some lenders may use a different credit model to determine your eligibility for a loan.
Experian Boost: Costs & Fees
Signing up for an Experian account is free and you get your credit report and history. Using the Experian Boost service is also free and you can use it to boost your credit score. You also get a free 7 day trial to the “premium” Experian account which offers a wide range of different benefits. After the free trial period, you can keep the account premium for as low as $5 a month. There are different plans with different services so be sure to see what you need as the monthly cost could go up to $39.95 a month if you add every single service.
Keep in mind that Experian Boost uses the FICO Score 8 model and works with FICO 9, VantageScore 3, and 4. Remember that some lenders may use other credit models or reports to determine the eligibility to approve a loan or credit card for an individual. Something to keep in mind. Furthermore, there is no 100% guarantee that your score will automatically go up. But the vast majority of people do see a jump in their credit score through Experian Boost, with both the free and paid service.
Verdict: Experian Boost
We recommend using Experian Boost for a few reasons. The free account gives you access directly to your Experian credit report and FICO score. Next, using the Experian Boost feature you can boost your credit score rather easily. The overall value of using Experian is very high and with their other services, it can be a great all-inclusive solution for you on your credit journey.