Taking a hit to your credit score can happen quickly. Forgetting to pay your credit card bill or racking up too much credit card debt can cause a noticeable dip in your credit score before you know it.
But raising your credit score — that can take a bit more time and effort.
While it’s definitely not impossible, you’ll need some patience. And things that can hurry the process along, such as paying off your credit card balances or spending a fortune on credit-repair companies, can be tough to fit into your budget.
The good news is there’s something you can do to potentially add a few points to your score right now, while you work on the bigger things over time.
Experian® has a free feature called Experian Boost™* that adds the bills you’re already paying to your credit report. This helps you show lenders you have a history of making on-time payments — an important factor in credit-score calculations. In fact, users who saw a FICO Score increase with Experian Boost added an average of 13 points to their FICO® Score** instantly.
You might be thinking: What’s 13 points really going to do for me? But you should know the difference between fair credit and good credit is ONE point.
Getting tipped over the edge into the next-highest bracket can help you save thousands of dollars on a home or car loan, qualify for a cash-back credit card, or pay off your debt faster.
Could Experian Boost™ Add Points to Your FICO® Score?
Here’s how Experian Boost works: When you create your free account, you’ll link up the bank account you use to pay your monthly bills. Experian Boost then looks for bill payments that wouldn’t otherwise be reported to the credit bureau, such as cell phone and utility bills, and adds them to your Experian® Credit Report. (Your info stays completely private and encrypted, by the way.)
Typically, these on-time bill payments don’t improve your FICO® Score. But with Experian Boost, you can see results for doing what you normally do each month.
It’ll also give you free access to your Experian Credit Report and monitor it for anything fishy. If something doesn’t look right, you’ll get an alert.
We like this service because it’s 100% free, and it doesn’t even make you enter your credit card information. (So no sneaky charges down the road.)
Millions of people have already signed up for Experian Boost, collectively adding more than 39 million points to their FICO® Score.[reference source]
This is easy enough to do, so see get started here, and if you can improve your credit scores today.
*Results may vary. Some may not see improved scores or approval odds. Not all lenders use Experian credit files, and not all lenders use scores impacted by Experian Boost.
** Credit score calculated based on FICO® Score 8 model. Your lender or insurer may use a different FICO® Score than FICO® Score 8, or another type of credit score altogether. Learn more at Experian.com.
Kari Faber ([email protected]) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.