Having good credit can open a lot of avenues for you. In most cases, you can be offered better interest rates, pay lower financial charges on credit cards, or qualify for a bigger loan. Tap or click here to check your credit report for free — and what you need to look for.
A good credit score is considered to be above 700 on the 300 to 850-point scale. Very few people breach the near-perfect score of 850, so don’t feel too bad if you come in lower than that. The number of adults in the U.S with a good score might even shock you.
By some estimates, only 21% of Americans have a FICO score rated as good. It can be tough, but there are ways to improve it. One of the factors that come into play could be something that you haven’t even thought of.
Fun way to boost your credit
Last year, credit bureau Experian rolled out a program where users could boost their rating by including streaming services to be counted as part of the score. Additionally, the companies lobbied to have utility and mobile phone bills includes as well.
Through Experian Boost, you create a free account on the website and choose which recurring payments (determined to be eligible by Experian) you want to be assessed. When completed, you can see your boost instantly.
“Historically, consumer credit scores have not factored in these types of accounts, but with Experian Boost, you can now get the credit you deserve for paying these bills on time,” the company wrote on its blog at the time.
How credit boost works
Since Netflix is covered through the offering, you might be wondering what else is available that you didn’t know of. Well, in addition to the largest streaming platform, you can add the following payments to count:
- HBO Max
- Mobile phone payments
- Cable TV payments
- Utility payments
“Once you verify the information to be added is correct, Experian adds the payments from the service providers you specify—going back up to 24 months—to your credit history,” Experian explained.
It added that you could usually expect your score to increase by 13 points. That’s because it doesn’t factor in late payments and only adds on-time payments to your report.
The functionality has also been rolled out to Experian customers in the U.K, where they can add their Amazon Prime and Now TV subscriptions as well.
How to set it up
The process for linking your streaming services and other bills to Experian is incredibly easy.
- Navigate to the Experian Boost web page https://www.experian.com/lpt/score-boost-lpt.html
- Go through the list of banks and connect through the one which you use to pay your bills.
- Once linked, Experian Boost will scan your account(s) for services and payment history.
- You’ll be presented with a checklist of eligible services, but only select the ones that are in your name (for instance, if it’s a joint account).
- Complete the process.
- When you are done, the difference in your score should be displayed almost instantaneously.
From then on, Experian will keep track of the payments you just added and will adjust your score accordingly. There are some things to consider, though, as the free service does come with some caveats.
Remember Equifax, the credit reporting agency that suffered a major security breach? While Experian isn’t Equifax, you are still giving your personal and banking information to a credit bureau.
You could also try to improve your credit on your own by:
- Build a robust credit file with smaller payments.
- Pay your bills on time.
- Make sure that past-due accounts have been settled.
- Keep your revolving credit accounts as low as possible.
- Limit the number of accounts you open.