Credit CardsArticles
How Does LendingTree Get Paid?
LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.
|
Advertising Disclosure
LendingTree is an advertising-supported comparison service. The site features products from our partners as well as institutions which are not advertising partners. While we make an effort to include the best deals available to the general public, we make no warranty that such information represents all available products. We are compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order).

Advertising Disclosure

LendingTree is an advertising-supported comparison service. The site features products from our partners as well as institutions which are not advertising partners. While we make an effort to include the best deals available to the general public, we make no warranty that such information represents all available products. We are compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order).

Experian Boost Review: Does It Work?

Updated on:
Content was accurate at the time of publication.
lt-leaf-logo Why use LendingTree?
We are committed to providing accurate content that helps you make informed money decisions. The content on this page has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer. We do maintain partnerships with some issuers, and our site may be compensated through those partnerships. Read our

Editorial Guidelines

At LendingTree, we are committed to providing accurate and actionable content that helps you make informed decisions about your money. Our team of writers and editors follows these key guidelines:
  • We thoroughly fact-check and review all content for accuracy. We aim to make corrections on any errors as soon as we are aware of them.
  • Our partners do not commission or endorse our content.
  • Our partners do not pay us to feature any specific product in our content, but we do feature some products and offers from companies that provide compensation to LendingTree. This may impact how and where offers appear on the site (such as the order).
  • We review and interview both external and internal reputable sources for our content and disclose sourcing in our content.
.

Credit is a bit of a paradox: You build a better credit score by using credit but you can’t get credit without a credit score. Experian Boost is a free credit-building tool that offers a workaround to the traditional credit model.

It does this by looking at your payment history for bills like rent, utilities and streaming services that you make from your bank account and aren’t reported to the credit bureaus. It adds items to your credit report without actually needing a line of credit like a credit card or car loan. Experian claims that the average user can raise their credit score by 13 points with Experian Boost.

The main caveat, however, is that it only works with your Experian credit score and report. Experian Boost will not affect scores generated from your Equifax and TransUnion reports.

Pros

Free. Experian Boost is a free service so there’s nothing to lose
May improve credit score. Your years of on-time utility, cable and internet payments may help your Experian credit score go up
Works quickly. You’ll see your point boost immediately
Won’t damage your credit. If you discover there aren’t any boost-eligible payments, your credit score won’t be hurt

Cons

Your score may not improve. There’s no guarantee that your credit score will improve after adding the additional information
Only works with Experian. The other two credit bureaus do not have access to this information so any benefit is marginal because not all lenders use Experian to check your credit
Must share personal data. Experian uses bank-level encryption but there’s always a level of risk when sharing personal information. You can unlink accounts and request that Experian delete your data at any time

Use LendingTree Spring to check your credit score.

Experian Boost is a free service that works by looking at your recent payment history from your bank account and adding it to your Experian credit report. You’ll need to give Experian access to your bank account to get started. The sign-up process is simple and only takes a few minutes.

1. Create an account with personal information

You need to provide personal information including:

  • Home address
  • Email
  • Mobile phone number
  • Social Security number
2. Connect credit card and bank accounts

For Experian Boost to work, you’ll need to connect your bank account and/or credit card accounts that you use to make the payments that you want to report.

To get the most out of your payment history, you should add any open account with bill payments within the past 24 months.

3. Choose which payments are added and verify your account

Experian will show you eligible payments, and you can select the ones that you want to use.

4. View your results instantly

You’ll see how many points your score increased after your records are added to your credit file.

What bills qualify for Experian Boost?

Many of your monthly bills may qualify for Experian Boost, including Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, Verizon, AT&T, Spectrum and HBO. Additional categories that Experian Boost can use include:

  • Mobile and landline phones
  • Internet
  • Cable, satellite and television
  • Video streaming services
  • Gas and electricity
  • Trash
  • Water
  • Residential rent payments made to select payment platforms
  • Insurance

Experian Boost looks back up to 24 months of your payment history with these accounts. However, you need a minimum of three payments within a six-month period for Boost to work.

This can be tricky with shared or infrequent bills. For utility or service bills that are quarterly or semi-annual, there won’t be enough data to fulfill the requirements for boosting your credit score unless you can opt into more frequent billing.

Experian Boost is a free service available to anyone who registers. However, for the service to work, you do need to connect accounts from which you make bill payments. Only banking data is collected from these accounts.

Yes, Experian Boost is safe to use as it has multiple layers of technology protecting your personal information. You should create unique passwords, log in from your own device and avoid using public internet for additional security.

Anyone may benefit from Experian boost, though people with low credit scores may benefit the most. While there’s no guarantee your score will improve, Experian says that the average person will get a 13-point boost to their FICO Score after using Experian Boost.

You can benefit the most from Experian Boost the most if you have:

No credit history: Adding a history of on-time payments to your report could help you create a credit score and provide a good start on building a credit history
A thin credit file: Padding your credit history with your bill payment history may increase your credit score
Bad credit: If you’re trying to bounce back from previous credit mistakes and you have a good record of paying bills on time, you could substantially increase your score with Experian Boost
Good credit: If you need a small boost to your credit score to qualify for a loan, adding more data to your credit file may help

A 13-point increase may seem small, but if you have a 668 FICO score (which is on the higher end of the “fair credit” spectrum), it would put you in “good credit” territory with a 681 credit score. This may allow you to open an unsecured credit card , or secure a lower interest rate on an auto loan.

For a longer-term credit boost, and one which offers the potential to be reported to all three credit bureaus, consider one of these alternatives to Experian Boost. They don’t yield quick and easy results, but they are tried-and-true ways to raise your credit score. They do carry some risk but also more reward since the data would likely be reported to more than one credit bureau.

Become an authorized user on someone’s credit card

Becoming an authorized user may be the fastest and simplest way to improve your credit score because it allows you to piggyback off another person’s credit history. The catch is that you need to find a family member or friend with good credit who is willing to add you to their account.

The bank will report the full payment history for the account to your credit report, even if you don’t personally use the credit card. However, if the main user on the account slips up and misses a payment, this will also be reflected on your credit report.

Open a secured credit card

A secured credit card is a good starting point for those who need to build or rebuild credit. Since you put down a deposit to secure a credit line, secured cards are easier to qualify for. Aside from the deposit, a secured card functions just like an unsecured card, allowing you to make charges and pay them off at the end of the billing cycle. If you pay your bill on time each month, you’ll create a positive payment history and you should see your credit score go up over time.

If you can meet the qualifications, you should apply for a secured card with no annual fee that offers you a chance to graduate to an unsecured credit card.

Take out a credit builder loan

For those who don’t want a credit card, a credit builder loan is another solid tool for building credit. Similar to a secured credit card, you deposit money into a savings account to secure a small loan, which you then pay back in installments to create a positive payment history. You can have your funds released by paying back the loan.

On the plus side, you’ll have a set payment schedule to help you pay off your loan, and you won’t be tempted to make purchases that you can’t afford to pay off. However, since you have to incur interest and fees with a credit builder loan, you should explore the previous options before taking one out.

Yes, Experian Boost works. According to Experian, the average user sees a 13-point increase in their credit score. Experian Boost works best for those with no credit, bad credit or thin credit files. The main drawback is that it only works for your Experian credit report and has no effect on our Equifax and Transunion reports.

Experian Boost is worth the time and effort since it’s free and the payment history that it collects only positively impacts your score. If you feel your credit score could use a boost from the bills you pay with your bank account, you will likely find using Experian Boost worth using.