Experian Boost is offered by the largest credit bureau worldwide, Experian, and helps consumers improve their credit scores with ease. It’s a free service that lets you include on-time payments to eligible service providers in your credit profile to help establish a good payment history and improve your FICO Score based on Experian data. But maybe you’re wondering what bills qualify for Experian Boost and if you’re allowed to select which ones are added to your credit profile or if Experian automatically does that for you.
That’s a valid question, and you’ll discover the answer in this guide. You’ll also learn how to sign up for Experian Boost and possibly improve your credit score right away.
About Experian Boost
With Experian Boost, you’ll get credit for timely payments made to qualifying utility, streaming service and cell phone providers. Some of the more popular service providers include AT&T, Disney+, HBO, Hulu, Netflix, Spectrum and Verizon. However, even if your provider isn’t on this list, you may still benefit from this free service.
On average, users see a credit score increase averaging 13 points, not including non-rental data. But be mindful that not everyone who signs up for Experian Boost will notice an improvement in their credit score. Again, it comes down to what’s in your credit profile. Generally, consumers who benefit the most from Experian Boost have thin (or no) credit files or recently opened their first credit card or loan to start building credit. However, there are also instances where individuals with extensive credit history but a low credit rating also notice improvements in their scores.
How Does Experian Boost Help You Increase Your Credit Scores?
Experian Boost focuses on the most significant component of your credit score – payment history. It accounts for 35 percent, and adding on-time payments to your profile can help your credit score.
That’s where Experian Boost comes in. You can add positive payment history from eligible service providers to your Experian credit report, possibly increasing your FICO score provided by Experian. Experian Boost only links positive payment history so that any late payments won’t be reported through this service. That said, late payments could result in late fees from your providers, so aim to pay your providers on time.
While your FICO score based on Experian data could improve, your credit scores from the other credit reporting agencies, Equifax and TransUnion, won’t be affected by Experian Boost. The other credit bureaus don’t recognize credit scores that factor in service provider and utility bill payments, nor do some lenders and creditors.
What Bills Qualify For Experian Boost?
When you sign up for Experian Boost, you can decide which service provider payments are included in your credit history. Let’s review what bills help build credit when using Experian Boost.
Mobile and Landline Phones
Mobile phones are prevalent among consumers, and some also have landlines in their homes. Luckily, payments for both types of phone bills qualify for inclusion in your credit profile using Experian Boost.
You can also get credit for monthly payments made to your internet service provider if you choose to when signing up for this free service. In addition, if you bundle your internet with other services, the monthly payment will likely qualify for Experian Boost as well.
Cable and Satellite
Do you use cable or satellite services as a source of entertainment in your home? The monthly payments can also help improve your credit score if they’re made on time.
Gas, Electric and Water
Don’t forget about gas and electric bills. Payments for both are also eligible for use with Experian Boost.
Residential rent payments remitted to property management or landlords through select rent payment platforms can be included in your payment history on your Experian credit report. But if you have a rent tradeline, active mortgage, or remit residential rent payments using some other method, like personal check money order, cash, Venmo, PayPal or Zelle, payments are not eligible for inclusion on your Experian credit report.
Other Utility Payments
If a payment to another type of utility company hasn’t yet been mentioned, it could still work with Experian Boost. You can confirm if a particular service provider is eligible when you enroll.
Streaming Service Payments
You could get credit for eligible streaming service payments to providers like Netflix®, Disney+™, HBO™, HBO Max™ and Hulu™. If you’re currently paying for a streaming service and can’t locate it in the search tool, notify Experian so it can inquire about adding the provider to the list of payments eligible for Experian Boost.
Is Experian Boost Free?
There are a lot of misconceptions out there, and we’re here to tell you that Experian Boost is included in both their free and paid memberships, so you don’t have to pay for it if you choose to avail of their services.
Should You Use Experian Boost?
It depends on your credit goals, but it doesn’t hurt to give this free tool a test drive. You can rest assured that your information is secure since Experian uses bank-level SSL security encryption to protect your data.
Furthermore, Experian Boost works to improve your credit health. It can’t hurt you as only positive payment history is reported, and it only takes a few minutes to set up your account and view your results.
Here are other some key benefits you’ll enjoy when signing up:
- You could see an increase in four of your FICO Scores based on Experian data – FICO 8, FICO 9, VantageScore 3 and VantageScore 4 – right away.
- You will get instant access to your credit report, score and a host of other resources to help you improve your credit health and overall financial well-being.
- You can avoid spending hundreds or thousands of dollars with a credit repair company to boost your credit score.
- You can take advantage of alternative data reporting without paying a fee to have it reported to credit bureaus. Simply put, bills help build credit even if they wouldn’t otherwise be reported to the credit bureaus.
- Your credit score may increase just enough to promote you to a higher credit score range, making it easier to access more favorable terms on debt products and higher credit limits.
But there are two points to consider – the most significant being that Experian Boost can only help your Experian credit report. Qualifying payments aren’t reflected in your TransUnion and Equifax credit reports, so you won’t see an increase in those credit scores.
Furthermore, Experian Boost is most beneficial for consumers with a limited credit history or individuals looking to rebuild their credit health following a series of past financial missteps.
Credit newbies are also invited to use Experian Boost. To qualify, you’ll need at least one account on your credit profile that’s been open for at least six months. There should also be an account listed that’s been reported to Experian within the last six months.
If you already have an established credit history or a good credit score, you likely won’t see much improvement in your credit score by using Experian Boost.
How Can You Sign Up For Experian Boost?
Experian Boost is available through the Experian CreditWorks℠ Basic membership. Here’s how to get started:
- Step 1: Download the Experian mobile app on your Android or iOS device or visit Experian Boost’s webpage.
- Step 2: Select the option to sign up for an Experian CreditWorks℠ Basic membership. It’s an easy, fast process, and there’s no need to put your credit card on file to get started.
- Step 3: Enter your name, physical address and email address to create a free account. Your credit score won’t be affected by enrolling in an Experian CreditWorks℠ Basic membership.
- Step 4: Log in to your bank account and connect the checking account(s) that reflect monthly bill payments. If you have trouble connecting to your bank, confirm your credentials. Also, refer to the setting in your bank’s online dashboard and check the contact information to ensure it matches what’s listed in your Experian profile.
- Step 5: Once your bank account is connected, Experian’s unique algorithms will analyze transactions – specifically payments – from the last two years to identify bills that you’ve made at least three payments towards in the last six months. (Bills that you’ve paid at least once in the last three months may also be eligible for inclusion into Experian Boost).
- Step 5: Choose the qualifying payments you’d like to use with Experian Boost from the list when prompted.
- Step 6: Watch your credit score improve in real time (not everyone will see a change).
- Step 7: Use the service as long as you see fit and disconnect your accounts to unenroll at any time.
Once your account is established, you’ll also get access to a host of perks and information, including a copy of your credit report from Experian, your FICO Score based on Experian data with monthly updates and Experian credit monitoring and real-time alerts any time activity takes place in your account. Plus, you’ll receive a free dark web surveillance report, FICO score monitoring with Experian Data and potential credit card and loan offers that could be a good fit for you.
Have trouble connecting your bank account to take advantage of Experian Boost and all the perks the free membership has to offer? It’s possible Experian doesn’t yet support your financial institution. The good news is that you can submit a request to have them added by following the instructions found in the link that will appear in the search window. You can also request that service provider payments or credit card payments be added if you don’t see them listed.