Experian Boost Review: Can It Really Help Your Credit Score?

Experian Boost Review

The best way to get credit is to have credit. Unfortunately, many people find themselves in this impossible catch-22 when they apply for credit and are either denied entirely or only qualify for loans with high-interest rates.

If you have a thin credit file and need a solid credit history to increase your approval odds for a car loan, housing, or new credit card, there are a few different ways to boost your Experian credit score and quickly add to your credit history. For example, you might get a secured credit card or look into credit repair services. Or, you could consider signing up for Experian Boost.

Let’s dig into our review of Experian Boost, so you can decide if it’s the right option for you. 


What is Experian Boost?

What is Experian Boost

Experian Boost is a free service offered by Experian, one of the three major credit bureaus. Experian Boost tracks the positive payment history of utilities. 

This is a service that can’t hurt your credit score because defaults and late payments are not counted against you in the Experian data. Only positive credit behaviors are counted. 

Over 70% of average users with a credit score under 680 have seen their scores improve by using Experian Boost

Experian Boost allows customers to choose which accounts they connect to. Some of the different accounts you might decide to connect to Experian Boost are utilities, phone bills, and even streaming services. As long as you pay these bills with a checking account, they’ll qualify for tracking with Experian Boost. 

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How Does Experian Boost Improve Your Credit Score?

Experian Boost will track whenever you pay your bills on time, which will improve your FICO score. FICO is a score considered by many lenders. 

One thing to note is that Experian will not report your positive payments to either of the two other major credit bureaus: TransUnion or Equifax. 

By using Experian Boost, you can quickly build a credit history (if you don’t have a credit history) or improve your score by making on time payments for bills and subscriptions on time. Some of the many bills and subscriptions that could qualify include: your monthly water, sewage, gas, electricity, or other utilities, your phone bill, or streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Disney+, and many others. 

If you’re going to be paying these bills online from a checking account, you might as well sign up for this free service that will apply your positive payment history to your credit score. 


How Do I Qualify for Experian Boost?

If you want to sign up for Experian Boost, you must have a checking account that you’re willing to connect with, and you have to make payments to your accounts online. Unfortunately, there’s no way for Experian Boost to track your payments if you’re paying in cash. 

This service will work best for customers who have set up automated payments from their checking accounts. If you know the payment will be taken out of your account automatically every month, then you know it will only help your credit score. 


How to Sign Up for Experian Boost?

experian boost homepage

  • Step One: Go to and sign up for an Experian credit file.
  • Step Two: Connect your checking account to Experian Boost. There’s no charge to do this. 
  • Step Three: Wait for Experian Boost to scan the last 24 months of your payment history and accounts. Once this is done, Experian Boost will suggest accounts to connect. If you have several months of payments made on time for an account, that account is likely to be suggested for tracking by Experian Boost. 
  • Step Four: Review the recommendations made by Experian Boost and decide which accounts you want to connect. 
  • Step Five: Get your updated FICO score! Once you’re done setting up your Experian Boost account and connecting utility or streaming accounts, Experian Boost will take the payment history of the connected accounts and apply it to your FICO score right away. You have a higher FICO score almost immediately. 
  • Step Six: In addition to getting a new FICO score, calculated with the positive payment histories of your utility accounts, you’ll continue to improve your score over the months that follow. If you make your payments on time, this information is applied to your FICO score (as well as the VantageScore 3 and VantageScore 4). If you miss a payment or default on an account, this information is not applied to your credit score. 

Click to Sign Up For Experian Boost


Pros and Cons of Experian Boost


Experian Boost Pros:

The benefits to Experian Boost users include:

  • It is free! Experian Boost is one of the most cost-effective ways to build a credit history or improve your credit score. In contrast, a secured credit card is another way to build or improve credit that requires a deposit and often comes with an annual fee. Experian boost is totally free and requires no deposit. There is a paid version that users can upgrade to if they’d like access to more features. But the free version will help you build or improve credit simply by tracking bills you’re already paying every month. 
  • Your FICO score will likely be improved immediately. Right after you select which accounts to connect to Experian Boost, you will receive a freshly recalculated FICO score. 
  • Positive payment history is recorded and improves your score, but late payments, missed payments, and defaults will not be recorded. Usually, utility payments work oppositely; utility companies usually don’t bother to report positive payment history, but if they need to send an account to collections, the collections agency is likely to forward this to the credit bureaus. Of course, if you miss payments or default, the utility or streamy companies are still free to do this. But Experian Boost will not do this. So, signing up for Experian Boost can only help your credit score and can’t hurt it. You should still strive to always make payments on time and pay down debts, as other agencies can report poor payment history. 
  • There is an average score improvement of 14 points. This can make a world of difference and really open up your borrowing options. 


Experian Boost Cons:

  • Experian Boost does not report to either TransUnion or Equifax.
  • You have to give Experian Boost access to your checking account in order to take advantage of the service. Some customers may not be comfortable with this, as Experian Boost will be able to see all of your spending activity. However, nearly any credit repair or financial service would require the same. 
  • If you want Experian Boost to apply your payments to your credit score, then you’ll be limited in how you pay the bills for connected accounts. If you connect your utility and streaming accounts, then you’ll have to pay those bills online with a checking account. Experian Boost monitors your checking account, so making online debit payments for bills is the only way to have those payments counted by Experian Boost. You won’t have the option to stop by the phone store or utility company and pay cash, and you won’t have the option to pay your bills with a credit card to earn points or rewards. 

Click to Sign Up For Experian Boost


Does Experian Boost Work?

This depends. In any case, Experian Boost won’t harm your credit, but whether or not it improves your credit will depend on various factors. The majority of consumers saw a positive increase in their credit score after signing up for Experian Boost. The average score increase is 14 points. 

However, a little over 30% of people who sign up for Experian Boost don’t see any change. 

The people most likely to benefit from Experian Boost are those without any credit history or a very thin credit profile. The more accounts you connect, the more positive payment history for Experian Boost to track will also affect how drastic an improvement you see. 

All of that being said, since it can’t hurt your credit, there’s not much of a reason not to sign up for this free service. The majority of people see some improvement in their credit score, and it’s likely you’ll see an improvement almost immediately.


Experian Boost FAQ

Can I Use Experian Boost If I Have Bad Credit?

Yes, you can. In fact, Experian Boost may be a useful tools for you if you have bad credit. This is because Experian Boost can help to improve your credit score by adding positive payment history to your credit report.

Keep in mind that if you have bad credit, you may not see a drastic improvement in your bad credit score. However, any improvement can be helpful when you’re trying to rebuild your credit.


How Long Does It Take for Experian Boost to Work?

Experian Boost works immediately. Once you have connected your accounts and Experian Boost has verified your positive payment history, your credit score will be recalculated and updated.


Is Experian Boost Safe?

Yes, Experian Boost is safe. You will need to provide Experian Boost with your personal credit information, including your Social Security number, and you will need to link your Experian account to a checking account. However, all of this information is encrypted and Experian Boost has multiple security measures in place to keep your information safe.


Should I Use Experian Boost?

If you’re looking for a way to improve your low credit score, then yes, you should use Experian Boost. However, keep in mind that your credit score may not increase by a significant amount. The average score increase is 14 points, but some people don’t see


How Much Does Experian Boost Cost?

Experian Boost is a free service. You will not be charged anything to sign up or use Experian Boost.


How Does Experian Boost Work?

Experian Boost works by adding positive payment history to your credit report. To use Experian Boost, you will need to link your Experian account to a checking account. Experian Boost will then monitor your account and verify any positive payment history, such as on-time utility bill payments. This positive payment history will be added to your credit report and can help to improve your credit score.


What utility bills does Experian Boost consider?

Experian Boost will consider any utility bill that is reported to Experian. This includes electricity, gas, water, cable, and cell phone payments.


How long does it take for Experian Boost to work?

Experian Boost works immediately. Once you have connected your accounts and Experian Boost has verified your positive payment history, your credit score will be recalculated and updated.


Wrapping It Up

Experian Boost is an excellent option for a lot of people, especially if you have a poor credit score or limited credit history. It doesn’t cost anything and provides you a way to raise your credit score, without doing anything differently quickly. It provides a positive impact by tracking the bills that you’re already paying. If you already pay your utility, phone, or streaming services bills online from your checking account, then all you need to do is sign up and let Experian Boost count those payments towards your file on your way to a good credit score.

If Experian Boost turns out not to be what you’re looking for, it’s very easy to cancel at any time. 

While there are a few financial products you may want to consider (such as a secured credit card or another type of credit builder card or credit repair service), Experian Boost is an especially low-risk option. For this reason alone, it’s worth taking a look at if you are looking for a type of credit score that will help you get approved for the loans you are applying for.

Click to Sign Up For Experian Boost


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