When you’re looking to get a mortgage or loan for a car or other large purchase, your credit score plays a big role in what you are approved for and what you’re not. Paying bills on time,  being careful about the types of accounts you open, and how frequently, can help boost your credit score. But, all of that can take time to show up on your credit report…time that you may not have if you need a loan quickly.


That’s where Experian Boost may be able to help. Experian Boost is a program aimed at helping people increase their credit scores right away. Let’s take a close look at the program so you can determine if it’s right for you.


What is Experian Boost?


Experian Boost is a unique program developed by the credit reporting company Experian. It allows people to boost their FICO score by giving them credit for paying utility, telecom, and some streaming service payments on time. 


Chances are you’ve heard of Experian before because it produces credit reports that lenders look at to determine a borrower’s credit history. But, you may not have heard of Experian Boost before because it just came out in 2019. 


How Does Experian Boost Work?


Experian Boost focuses on utility and telecom payments because they are not usually factored into your credit score. The program looks at your bank records to find when you made on-time utility payments. It also includes any on-time Netflix payments. 


When these records are added to your credit file, your payment history starts to build up. The more on-time payments you have, the more it will increase your credit score.


One of the good things about Experian Boost is that it only considers on-time payments. Any negative payments will not be included. When you sign up for Experian Boost, you can add more accounts to your credit file, especially if you have a lengthy credit history. This can also help to boost your credit score if you have more active accounts with on-time payments.

Does Experian Boost Really Work?


Experian Boost is the first service of its kind that allows people to increase their credit in minutes, which is part of the appeal. According to Experian, the program has raised people’s credit scores by more than 29 million points since it began.


Experian reports that of those with a very poor FICO score, 87% saw their scores increase after using Experian Boost. Of those with a fair score, 63% saw an increase.


It’s important to note that due to an algorithm used to calculate credit scores, some consumers see their credit stay the same or even go down once they link their bank accounts. If you see your score decrease, you can disconnect your linked bank accounts to get your number to return to its previous level.


If you notice your credit scores stay the same, you can keep them linked. They may help to boost your score over time. Experian Boost will continue to look for on-time payments and post them to your credit file to help you improve your FICO score.


Also, not all lenders may see the results of Experian Boost on your credit report. There are different versions of your credit scores. Lenders would see the impact of Experian Boost if they view your Experian credit report or pull your credit score using Experian data.


Some lenders may not be familiar with Experian Boost so when they see utility payments on your credit report, they may view this as additional debt. This could work against you when you’re trying to establish your credit or get a loan.


Is Experian Boost Safe?


Since you need to give Experian Boost access to your bank accounts to find payment information, many people wonder if it’s safe to use.


According to the Experian website, the company uses read-only access to bank statement information to only find qualifying payments made to utility and telecom companies. No consumer bank information is stored, only a record of any qualifying payments that will help to boost your credit score.


How Much Does Experian Boost Cost?


It’s free to sign up for Experian Boost. 

How Do I Sign Up?


Simply sign up on Experian’s website with all of your information. You need to give permission to connect your online bank accounts. This will allow the program to find qualifying payments that could pump up your credit score. Once you verify the information and consent to adding it to your Experian credit file, you’ll get an updated FICO score right away.


Is Boost for Me?


While everyone wants to increase their credit score, Experian Boost may not be best for everyone. Consumers with little to no credit and those with poor credit scores tend to benefit most from the Experian Boost program. Those who pay their utility bills on time and can use the extra boost in their credit score will also benefit the most from using the program. Experian Boost is a good idea for people who pay their electric bill, water bill, or phone bill on time and want that reflected in their credit score.


If you have little or no credit history and want to increase your credit score, Experian Boost may be something to look into if you want to see your score go up quickly to get a loan. The program is free and easy to opt-out of, so it may not hurt to try to see if it works for you.

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