What You Need To Know About the New Experian Boost

by Stephanie Colestock

Improving your credit score usually takes years’ worth of effort. With Experian Boost, you can increase your score in seconds.

By the time you reach adulthood, you already know that your credit score is very important. Even if you don’t know exactly how those three-digit numbers will impact your future finances, you recognize that you should work to get your score as high as possible.

However, building a healthy credit score takes years of dedication and effort. If you don’t want to utilize credit cards or other credit-based products, it can take even longer. So, what can you do to prove your creditworthiness and boost your credit scores quickly?

Luckily, you can now use a new feature called Experian Boost. This tool will not only help you improve your score immediately, but will also save you money in the long run.

Why Credit Matters

If a random person came up to you on the street and asked to borrow $1,000, would you hand it over? Probably not, because you don’t know them and don’t trust them to pay you back.

It doesn’t matter how financially responsible you are; if you don’t have a credit report that demonstrates such, you’ll have trouble qualifying for the loans and products you need.
They could be the most honest and hardworking person in town, who will pay you back on time and without trouble. But if you don’t know them, it simply isn’t worth the risk.

However, if your best friend asked to borrow the same funds, chances are you’d happily hand it over. You know their habits and level of responsibility. You likely trust them and know that they will pay you back as promised, and you won’t have to hunt them down for the money.

Of course, lenders aren’t giving money to personal friends or family members. Most of the time, you’re a complete stranger to them, so they need a little proof that you’re an honest, creditworthy person who repays his or her debts.

That’s where your credit history comes into play.

Your Credit Score

The accounts you have, the inquiries you’ve made, and the payment history you’ve built are all recorded on your credit report. From those reports, a credit score will be calculated, which lenders will used to gauge whether or not you qualify for certain products or loans, and the interest rate you’ll be offered.

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There are a few different credit score formulas out there to choose from, and you don’t necessarily know which one your potential lender is going to use. Because of this, a credit score can range anywhere from 250 to 900. And actually, you will find that you don’t have just one credit score!

With that said, the most commonly-used credit scoring formula is from FICO, followed by those offered by VantageScore.

Factors That Go Into Your Credit Score

So, how exactly does your credit history turn into a three-digit number? That’s for the formula companies (like FICO, VantageScore, and even the three credit bureaus) to decide.

While each has their own proprietary calculations and weighted formulas, they all take the same things into account. These will include…

Your hard inquiries will account for any credit-based products you’ve applied for in the last 12 months. The other factors listed will include all of your activity from the last seven years.

To preemptively answer a big credit myth: No, you won’t lose points by checking your own credit report or score. In fact, while checking your credit won’t have a quantitative impact on your score, studies have found that regularly checking your credit can indirectly lead to improved scores!

Another way to improve your credit score, and immediately? Try the new Experian Boost.

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All About Experian Boost

Even if you’re not too familiar with your credit reports, you’ve probably heard of Experian. They are one of the three credit reporting bureaus — alongside Equifax and TransUnion — responsible for tracking your credit history and providing reports to potential lenders.

This past January, the reporting bureau rolled out Experian Boost, a brand new platform designed to help consumers increase their own credit scores.

With Experian Boost, however, many consumers can see results right away, taking into account the bills they responsibly manage on a regular basis.

Other efforts to improve your credit score, such as paying bills on time or paying down existing debt, can take months to give results. If you’re someone who has a limited credit history or doesn’t use products like credit cards, you might have even more trouble raising your score.

Experian Boost promises to not only be simple (and free!), but users will also see the results immediately.

With Experian Boost, however, many consumers can see results right away, taking into account the bills they responsibly manage on a regular basis.

Other efforts to improve your credit score, such as paying bills on time or paying down existing debt, can take months to give results. If you’re someone who has a limited credit history or doesn’t use products like credit cards, you might have even more trouble raising your score.

How Will Experian Boost Help Consumers?

Typically, bills such as utilities and household services — like cable, internet, or phone — aren’t reported to your credit. Even if you pay them on time every single month, that history won’t help you improve your credit score or demonstrate your creditworthiness.

Until now.

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With Experian Boost, consumers can sign up to have their utility bills and monthly telecommunication payments factored into their FICO and VantageScore numbers.

This means that if you only have a handful of credit-based accounts, or haven’t held them for long, you can still prove yourself to new lenders.

How Experian Boost Works

Signing up for the new Experian Boost platform is easy and free, and allows consumers to boost their score right away.

That’s because it links to your utility and telecom accounts through your banking institution, to show that you are indeed responsible with your monthly financial obligations.

After you sign up, you’ll be asked to connect the bank account that you use to pay your monthly bills. This is a secure process and the information will be kept private — only for Experian’s eyes and only to prove your positive payment history.

You’ll then need to choose the qualifying payments from that linked bank account, so that the account history can boost your credit score. Once linked and selected, those payments will immediately be factored in, allowing you to boost your credit score by tens… in seconds!

Who It’s Designed to Help

Almost one-third of Americans are walking around without a single credit card. There are many young adults who have a limited credit history, simply due to their age. And regardless of age, there are many Americans without mortgages, student loans, or financed vehicles.

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While all of those are great for staying out of debt, they’re not so great for building up one’s credit score. And if you ever want to buy a home, finance a car, or open a line of credit, you will need that credit history established.

That’s a big part of the reason that Experian introduced the Boost platform.

It is designed for those adults who do not (or cannot) build a strong credit score with things like credit cards and auto loans. It allows those individuals to show lenders that they are still creditworthy, and manage their bills responsibly each month.

Things to Remember

Experian Boost already works with the FICO 8, FICO 9, VantageScore 3, and VantageScore 4 formulas. This means that the majority of lenders will pull a score that includes the Experian Boost factors.

However, if you are applying for credit with a lender that uses a different scoring model — or pulls from Equifax/TransUnion — the Experian Boost platform won’t help.

Also, it’s important to note that a negative payment history with utility or telecom accounts won’t help you. So if you’ve made payments late or are inconsistent with your accounts, this could actually lower your score.

However, if you add these accounts to your Experian Boost platform and find that your score goes down, there’s an easy solution: simply remove them! Experian Boost is not mandatory and you can delete accounts at any time if you find that they don’t work to “boost” your credit score.

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Having a solid credit history is important, whether you’re planning to buy a home in the future or simply want to refinance a car. Your score can mean the difference between loan approval or denial, and a low or high interest rate on the account.

With Experian Boost, you have the ability to increase your credit score in seconds, thanks to the bills you already pay. Plus, the platform is free, and there’s no risk involved… it can only help you in your credit journey!

About The Author


Stephanie Colestock

Stephanie is a personal finance writer and editor, specializing in topics like budgeting, debt, credit cards, and banking. Her work can be seen on Forbes, US News, and Dough Roller, among others. She is a Baylor University grad, currently living in Washington, D.C.


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