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Thoughts on Experian Boost


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I follow a credit building Facebook group, and the newbs on there occasionally ask about Experian Boost. I don't know a lot about it, just that you provide utility bills to "boost" your FICO score.  I have two concerns about this. First, would these bills actually show up on a credit report when applying for credit? And secondly, I generally do not like to furnish the CRAs with any additional personal information than necessary, because the banks are their clients, not me. Am I being too paranoid about this?

 

I'm asking so I can provide accurate information to the folks on Facebook, I don't actually plan on using the service.

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From what I've sussed out re Experian Boost is that for certain monthly bills that you pay via your checking account, Experian will track your payments and record a timely payment where evidence presents itself.  Targets of such payments are accounts that aren't normally reported to the credit bureaus;  specifically utilities, phone/cell/telecom, and Netflix.  You need to give Experian access to your checking account.

 

Experian states only positive payment data is added to your report.  If there's evidence of a late or missed payment, there won't be a derogatory entry to your credit report.

 

I believe the only information that will be viewed on your credit report are the vendor and dates/amounts paid.   This only impacts your credit scores related to your Experian file; TU and EQ files/scores are unaffected.  The added data is only factored in calculating your EX FICO 8/9 scores.  (This won't improve the scores typically pulled for mortgage applications.)

 

The target audience for Boost is specifically individuals with "thin files", that is those who have (say) 5 or fewer tradelines reporting.  For those with negative credit data reporting in their file, Boost won't appreciably improve scores while the adverse information reprots.  It's suggested that most with scores under 680 will see at least a modest bump from participating in Boost.

 

There appears to be no "downside" to participating in Boost.  Providing access to your checking account (typically meaning that you share you account login) is no different that tracking your checking account spending through an account aggregator included with some other services.

 

 

 

 

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Note: 

 

A few minor issues:

It has been reported that you have to pay those reported utilities through your checking account. If you pay using a non-checking associated card, it doesn't get noted by Experian.

 

Also, if your financial institution is not listed for Boost, you may have to request they add it to their system.

Edited by tmcgill
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20 hours ago, hdporter said:

From what I've sussed out re Experian Boost is that for certain monthly bills that you pay via your checking account, Experian will track your payments and record a timely payment where evidence presents itself.  Targets of such payments are accounts that aren't normally reported to the credit bureaus;  specifically utilities, phone/cell/telecom, and Netflix.  You need to give Experian access to your checking account.

 

Experian states only positive payment data is added to your report.  If there's evidence of a late or missed payment, there won't be a derogatory entry to your credit report.

 

I believe the only information that will be viewed on your credit report are the vendor and dates/amounts paid.   This only impacts your credit scores related to your Experian file; TU and EQ files/scores are unaffected.  The added data is only factored in calculating your EX FICO 8/9 scores.  (This won't improve the scores typically pulled for mortgage applications.)

 

The target audience for Boost is specifically individuals with "thin files", that is those who have (say) 5 or fewer tradelines reporting.  For those with negative credit data reporting in their file, Boost won't appreciably improve scores while the adverse information reprots.  It's suggested that most with scores under 680 will see at least a modest bump from participating in Boost.

 

There appears to be no "downside" to participating in Boost.  Providing access to your checking account (typically meaning that you share you account login) is no different that tracking your checking account spending through an account aggregator included with some other services.

 

 

 

 

I personally don't feel comfortable giving them access to my checking account.

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3 hours ago, jonson said:

I personally don't feel comfortable giving them access to my checking account.

Wise thought...they are banking on people NOT considering the negative implications of that unfettered access.

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4 hours ago, centex said:

Wise thought...they are banking on people NOT considering the negative implications of that unfettered access.


True. 

If one has a low score and is itching for an auto loan, a credit card, a better apartment, or a mortgage; people can and do become willing to give away information to get what they want. 

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