Having a low credit score can have a significant impact on your personal finance journey from qualifying credit card applications, mortgages, to auto loans to even new utility fees.
Even if you have fair credit, you may not have the opportunity to be considered for specific types of credit accounts or loans.
Poor credit can also mean you will be subject to higher rates. Bottom line, the better the credit score you have, 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.
So, read on to learn all about it in our Experian Boost Review.
What Is Experian?
Most people know that Experian is one of three United States 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.
Based on this and other information, a credit score is then determined by using a unique formula.
What is Experian Boost?
Now, Experian is offering its new program as a free service to help with building credit called Experian Boost.
This program is specifically designed 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 maybe new credit.
Before you wonder whether or not this is a scam, Experian has already shown that users on their platform 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 who has a desire to raise their credit score can use Experian Boost as well as have access to another new product, the UltraFICO program.
Keep in mind that the tactics employed by the program are designed to help people who have a limited amount of credit history or poor credit scores.
Usually, your credit score is derived from sources that can be difficult to come by.
Experian Boost steps in and uses your phone bill or your utility 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 the program you need to help you give your credit score a nudge 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 or not you qualify.
However, every bureau provides a different version of your score.
Keep in mind that 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 says that their Boost program is ideal for someone who has 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 who would be ideal for using the Experian Boost program:
- Adults with little to no credit history: Experian Boost 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 making a positive payment history, but not with the type of credit line or account that you need, Experian Boost can help you with that.
- Customers with low or poor credit scores: If your credit score needs a jump start, then use Experian Boost 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 would you want to worry about a better credit score? Here’s an example of how much of an impact it can have on your finances:
If you have low or poor credit, then 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 Experian Boost 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.
How Much 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.
Is Experian Boost Safe?
If you’re worried about security with Experian Boost, the program protects your information with a 256-bit encrypted SSL.
However, always do everything you can to protect your financial data such as your social security number or banking information like a checking and savings account.
This is especially critical as major credit monitoring bureaus are seeing data breaches occur that have an impact on 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 protected.
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 serve as a way to improve your credit score.
It can help you qualify for a line of credit, a loan, or a mortgage. It can also help you lower your interest rates.
As a disclaimer, not all lenders use your Experian credit file or Experian data meaning you may not see the full benefits of a score increase.
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 as reported by 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 are a reliable and dependable consumer, and they will 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 as a way 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.
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.