How Does Experian Boost Work?

ByI. Mitic
September 23, 2021

The tried and true way of improving a bad credit score takes a long time: pay your bills on time, keep credit card balances low, keep an extra card in reserve, and review your credit reports regularly so you can dispute inaccuracies.

In the meantime, you must be content with unfavorable interest rates and limited loan options.

Unless...could there be a way of improving your credit score immediately?

Experian, one of the finance industry’s big three credit bureaus, has launched a free service called Experian Boost that can raise your FICO score overnight.

So how does Experian Boost work, and how can it help you?

Boost offers quick credit score improvement by adding positive payment history and good financial habits to your credit file. This free credit boost is especially valuable for young people who haven’t yet established a credit history as well as those with lackluster credit scores.

According to Experian, the average user of Experian Boost can expect to see a rise of 13 points in their FICO Score 8. This increase could be enough to tilt the scale from poor to fair credit for some consumers and provide long-term benefits and savings in the form of favorable interest rates on new loans.

What is Experian Boost?

Experian is one of the three large credit reporting agencies that record payment information from businesses and individuals. It provides numeric evaluations of your creditworthiness to banks and other lenders. This information allows lenders to make more accurate assessments before approving a loan or credit.

Experian Boost is a free service that helps users improve their FICO scores by analyzing users’ payment history and adding information about on-time payments of utilities, phone, and streaming services. Your credit file is sure to include information about late and missed payments, but most companies don’t bother to report on-time monthly payments. Adding them to your account can make a big difference.

Approximately 90% of top lenders use the FICO Score data, and this improvement can affect you immediately, whether you are applying for a credit card, mortgage, or home equity line of credit.

What Does Experian Boost Do?

Utility companies typically don’t report to credit bureaus, and therefore they aren’t usually included in credit reports. This means paying on time or missing payments for utilities generally won’t have an impact on your credit score.

But if you pay your utilities on time, you can take advantage of this Experian tool to improve your credit score. Once activated, Experian Boost scans your bank records and finds paid bills that qualify for on-time payments. Eligible monthly bills include:

  • Electricity
  • Gas
  • Water
  • Phone (both mobile and landline)
  • Internet
  • Cable (or satellite)
  • Trash
  • Streaming services (Netflix, Disney+, HBO, Hulu, Starz)

Even if you haven’t always paid them all promptly, Experian Boost reviews and documents only your on-time payments. This selectiveness distinguishes Experian Boost from the way credit scores usually work. Missed payments always result in a lowered credit score and are faithfully recorded on your credit history. Experian Boost tracks only your positive payment history.

To register for this service, you need to connect your bank account (or multiple accounts) with Experian Boost. Make sure that you are registering with the account you have used for paying bills. After that, you will have an opportunity to review and verify your positive payment history before Experian adds it to your file. Results are shared with you immediately.

This Experian credit boost program is one feature of the company’s CreditWorks Basic plan. With this free plan, you gain access to your FICO score and your Experian credit file.

Your FICO score is determined by your payment history, amounts owed, credit mix, length of credit history, and new credit. With this service, you will potentially see an increase in payment history and the length of your credit history. Since these two categories are responsible for 35% and 15% of your FICO score, Experian Boost will be able to improve your score immediately in many cases. Of course, the bank’s records of timely bill-paying are just a part of your payment history, and other elements influence your score as well.

Further Reading: In-Depth Reviews of the Best Credit Repair Services

Does Experian Boost Work?

Experian Boost is a relatively new service – it launched in early 2019. More than four million Americans have since signed up for it. Experian regularly updates the number of points boosted by using its service. By February 2021, the total was more than 50 million points.

So the short answer is - yes, Experian Boost does work. Eligible on-time payments are taken into account for your credit score. It’s just a matter of finding them in your bank account’s payment history.

According to Experian Boost’s review of user data, the service is most useful for poor and fair credit ratings. About 87% of users with a very poor rating and 63% of those with fair ratings experience an increase.

This service is not the same as credit repair because it doesn’t remove derogatory entries from your credit history. Instead, it improves your score by documenting positive payment habits.

Experian Boost: Premium Plan and Mobile App

Experian Boost is a free service available with the Experian CreditWorks Basic plan. A Premium plan offers additional benefits. These include reports from all three major credit reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion), a CreditLock function, a credit monitoring provider, and more.

You can access these features by installing the Experian Boost app on your Android or iOS device. The app also includes options like getting a free Experian credit report every 30 days, alerts when new information is posted to your credit file, online dispute services, and helpful summaries.

UltraFICO vs. Experian Boost

UltraFICO Score was launched in 2019 as a partnership between Fair Isaac Corp., Experian, and Finicity. It is a useful tool for consumers who lack a lengthy credit history.

Like Experian Boost, it requires access to your bank account. It seeks information on your savings habits, how often you sustain overdraft charges, how long you’ve had the account, and how much you use it.

One more important difference: Experian Boost credit score changes are immediate. With UltraFICO, you must first apply for a loan, and then agree with the lender that you will share your payment history to generate data for UltraFICO. It is only after you agree that you may see an improvement in your FICO score - and only from the new credit account. Of course, you can opt out whenever you wish.

Will Experian Boost Benefit You?

Experian Boost is a new service used by an ever-increasing number of consumers in the US, and it still has to live up to its mainstream potential. But we can freely say that it has already helped many Americans prove their creditworthiness.

How does Experian Boost work to provide you with a credit boost?

First, you need to make sure that you are eligible for it. You must meet four conditions:

  1. You pay your bills with a savings or checking account.
  2. You have paid your bills on time for at least three months.
  3. Your payments are made directly to utility providers.
  4. You have a credit file. If you have at least one credit card or active loan, you have one.

Once those conditions are satisfied, your next question might be: “Is Experian Boost safe?” The answer is a resounding “yes.” Since you can always opt out of the service and choose to update payment history information yourself, there is no need to worry about Experian reducing your credit score.

However, note that this service doesn’t deliver the same results for all users. Experian says it is most beneficial for those with the poorest credit history. Whether it will benefit you and to what extent depend on your personal credit history. Don’t expect to see soaring credit scores after using Experian Boost. Remember there are other elements factored into your credit history, and these influence your score as well.

FAQ
What is the catch with Experian Boost? +

This Experian credit boost tool is a free service that can improve your credit score. It does this by identifying the payment history for utilities and streaming services – which otherwise wouldn’t have any effect, positive or negative, on your credit score – in your banking records. It then posts the on-time payments to your credit file.

The main benefit is that only positive information is considered, so Experian Boost can never hurt your score. At any point, you can exclude certain payments or opt out of the service.

Experian Boost is provided by Experian, one of the three large credit reporting agencies in the US.

Is Experian Boost legit? +

Experian Boost is a service used by more than four million Americans so far. Unlike piggybacking credit and other schemes that are considered fraudulent by lenders, Experian Boost is a legitimate way of improving your credit score by including information usually absent from credit reports. Information about utility and telecom bills paid on time demonstrates that you responsibly manage your finances.

You can be sure that Experian Boost will never harm your credit score. The information it stores comes from your bank records of making on-time payments to utility companies and other services.

Is Experian Boost really free? +

Experian Boost is free for anyone with a CreditWorks Basic Plan. There is no trial period; you just need to sign up for free membership. Registering on experian.com for a boost can be completed in a few easy steps. This service can positively influence your credit score and save you money on interest rates, which is especially true if you are on the brink of moving your credit rating to the next tier.

Although you can use Experian Boost completely free of charge, you do have the option of choosing a paid premium plan. It comes with additional features such as additional FICO scores, a FICO score simulator, alerts when agencies receive credit inquiries, and multiple options that protect you from identity theft.

How does Experian Boost raise your credit score? +

Experian Boost raises FICO scores by 13 points on average. How does Experian Boost work to accomplish that? It’s simple. Experian Boost uses the information on regular utility and telecom payments from your bank account that show a positive trend and demonstrate responsible financial behavior. When these on-time payments are added to your credit file, your credit score can receive a boost.

 
About author

For years, the clients I worked for were banks. That gave me an insider’s view of how banks and other institutions create financial products and services. Then I entered the world of journalism. Fortunly is the result of our fantastic team’s hard work. I use the knowledge I acquired as a bank copywriter to create valuable content that will help you make the best possible financial decisions.

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