Experian is offering a way to “Boost” your Credit Score

So you may have heard late last year that Experian was experimenting with their algorithm and they were testing a new program…it was called “Experian Boost”.  Well, this year they have made it possible for those people who are needing a “boost” to their credit scores to opt into this new program.  

Pro’s: Experian Boost is a program that will let the consumer attach their bank accounts to their credit reports.  The bureau will scan and monitor your bank statement and it will report your positive utility, phone and cable (telecom) payments and factor them into your credit score.  This is a big win for those consumers who have low credit scores or “thin” credit profiles, or those who may just be 10-20 points away from securing a loan.

Con’s: Why would Experian alter their algorithms when they refused to report utility bills, phone bills, et in the past.  Obviously, it is to open up more credit opportunities, making it easier for over 100 million Americans who cannot get access to credit. But why?  I was taught by a leading credit expert that CRA’s make more money reporting negative information, thus, it is to their advantage to keep negative accounts on your credit report-it is more profitable for them to do so. Also, consumer debt is higher than ever. According to the latest 2018 data from the Federal Reserve:

  • Americans hold over $1 trillion in credit card debt ($1,023,000,000,000)
  • Non-Revolving debt (loans) total over $2.8 trillion ($2,842,400,000,000)

According to a Y charts investment company:

  • To kick off 2018, the total outstanding auto loan debt totals $1.22 trillion ($1,221,000,000,000).                                                                                                   

So why would Experian loosen up their algorithms?  These are questions that any savvy consumer would ask…especially if you’re concerned with both your personal and national debt.

Is there anything to be concerned with when signing up for Experian Boost?   Before recommending this program to our Credit Builder Clients, I wanted to know more, so I signed up for the program.  I’m happy to report that it was a simple and easy process.  It basically asks you to “sign up” (lead form; I opted out of receiving marketing info from Experian); then it walks you through three security questions; it scans your personal information and gives you your Experian Credit Score.  You then attach your banking information, it does a scan looking for all the above-mentioned accounts, and then gives you your “boosted” score upon finding any positive payment information. My bank account, for whatever reason, only showed my Verizon Payment (14 monthly payments), thus, it boosted my score by four points.  Hey, four points is four points, right?  I believe it would have given me a lot more points had it recognized other utility accounts.  There is a place to scan checks so that it can recognize those accounts in future scans.  Experian stated that it will only report the positive payments onto your report.  Make sure you read the fine print though.  I found the process simple and effective, however, I have to admit that I had an uneasy feeling adding my checking account information.  Experian does say that you can cancel and opt out at any time (which I probably will do) and that their site is encrypted and secure.  They also state that your information is private and it will not be shared!   However, I can’t help but to remember when Equifax had a security data breach in 2017 that impacted 2.4 million consumers (drivers license information was breached).  So make sure that if you opt in to this program, you know all the facts.  It could help you achieve a higher credit score more quickly, but with everything in life, there may also be some risk.

To opt in to the Experian Boost program or to get more information, visit:  https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/introducing-experian-boost/ 

If you have any questions regarding your FICO score and how the algoritlym is computed, or questions regarding your current score or credit report, call Credit Builders at 877-838-9788 or visit our website at:  https://www.buildingsolidcredit.com

Mya Goodman, Founder of Credit Builders

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