Having a low credit score can significantly impact your personal finance journey, from qualifying for credit card applications, to getting approved for mortgages and auto loans, to being charged with new utility fees. Even if you have fair credit, you may not have the opportunity to be considered for certain credit accounts or loans.
Poor credit can also subject you to higher rates. The bottom line is, the better your credit score, the better interest rates and loans you will have access to.
But how can you increase your credit score easily? Experian has a new service to help you with that. Read on to learn all about it in our Experian Boost Review.
Table of contents:
- What is Experian?
- What is Experian Boost?
- How does Experian Boost work?
- What does Experian Boost offer?
- Should you use Experian Boost?
What is Experian?
Most people know of Experian as one of three U.S. credit bureaus (Equifax, Transunion and Experian). These three credit reporting bureaus provide information (your credit report or FICO score) to lenders based on the data they have.
For example, Experian may provide bank account information on all your credit accounts. This includes late payments, overdrafts of your checking account and negative remarks from other lenders and bankruptcies. Based on this and other information, a unique formula then determines your credit score.
What is Experian Boost?
Experian is offering a new program called Experian Boost as a free service to help its users with building credit. Experian designed this program specifically to aid people in credit repair by helping boost their credit scores in real-time. This is especially helpful if you have a thin credit file or new credit.
Before you question if this is a scam, Experian has already shown that its users have experienced an increase of 13 points on average. Remember, however, that not all Experian Boost users will have the same results. Your results may vary from the average.
How does Experian Boost work?
Anyone wanting to raise their credit score can use Experian Boost and get access to another new product, the UltraFICO program. Keep in mind, the program employs tactics to help people with limited credit history or poor credit scores.
Usually, credit bureaus determine your credit score from sources that can be difficult to come by. This includes student loans, credit card issuers or home mortgages. The credit-boosting program steps in and uses your phone or utility bills to aid in raising your credit score.
If you have made phone payments for a few years but have never had a credit card or student loan, then Experian Boost might be helpful for you to nudge your credit score in the right direction.
What does Experian Boost offer?
If you apply for a line of credit or a loan, your lender will use your scores from either a single credit bureau or all three to determine whether you qualify. However, every bureau provides a different version of your score.
If you decide to pursue the Experian Boost program, it only impacts your VantageScore 3 and 4 scores, your FICO 8 and 9 scores and your Experian Credit score. Experian claims that its Boost program is ideal for someone with an Experian credit report of 580–670 and less than five total trade or credit lines.
While this may appear to leave many people out, most can use Experian Boost to improve their scores unless they are in the upper echelon of credit scores. Here’s an idea of the ideal candidate for the Experian Boost program:
- Adults with little to no credit history: The program can have a significant impact on those who don’t quite have the track record that banks and other lenders want to see.
- Consumers with incredible financial restraint: If you regularly make on-time payments and therefore have a positive payment history, but not with the type of credit line or account that you need, it can help you with that.
- Customers with low or poor credit scores: If your credit score needs a jump start, then use it before you apply for a loan or mortgage so you can get a better rate.
Experian hopes to see nearly two-thirds of its customers using Boost to improve their scores. But why should you worry about a better credit score? Here’s an example of the impact it could have on your finances:
If you have low or poor credit, you can expect to pay almost a quarter of a million dollars more throughout your life than someone who has fair or excellent credit. Doesn’t that make it a little more appealing? The goal of this program is to move customers from getting denied to getting approved for the loan or mortgage they want.
What Does Experian Boost Cost?
The great thing about Experian Boost is that it’s free for anyone to use. All you have to do is create an account, and you’re ready to start improving your credit.
If you’re worried about security with Experian Boost, the program protects your information with a 256-bit encrypted SSL. However, you should always do everything you can to protect your financial data, such as your Social Security number and banking information.
This is especially critical, as major credit monitoring bureaus are seeing occurrences of data breaches that impact hundreds of millions of people and their personal financial information. When you sign up for Experian Boost, you’re giving third-party access to your banking information. So, do everything you can to ensure your information is safe.
Should you use Experian Boost?
Now we’re down to the million-dollar question. Should you use Experian Boost?
Throughout our Experian Boost review, we’ve shown you how the program can help you improve your credit score. It can help you qualify for a line of credit, a loan or a mortgage, and it can also help you lower your interest rates.
As a disclaimer, not all lenders use your Experian credit file or Experian data, so you may not see the full benefits of a score increase. But if you don’t have a credit history, or if you have poor or bad credit, then Experian Boost can guide you toward improving your score report from the major credit bureaus.
This process makes it easier for you to get the approval you need. By using your on-time utility bill payments and telecom payments like cell phone bills, the program shows lenders that you’re a reliable and dependable consumer and they’ll get their money on time.
For example, as long as you have at least three months of payment records while using a service like Netflix or Hulu, Experian can use those online banking utility payments to boost your score.
Keep in mind, if you're using Mint or Credit Karma to track your score, you may not see your boost right away. And of course, if you already have good credit, then Experian Boost may not do you much good.
But for everyone else, this is a program worth considering. The information in this article is presented without warranty.
Disclaimer: This story was originally published on September 30, 2019, on BetterCreditBlog.org. To find the most relevant information concerning Experian Boost, please visit their website: https://www.experian.com/consumer-products/score-boost.html