A solid credit score is important for so many aspects of modern living. From purchasing cars to qualifying for an apartment, a high credit score gives you a distinct advantage that can make your life easier. A low score, on the other hand, means certain purchases and events will cost you more money in the long run.
That’s why it’s important to keep a close eye on your credit score for scams, unpaid debts and other factors that can bring it down. Tap or click here to see how to check your credit score for free.
If your credit score is in bad shape thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic you’re not alone. Hardship can strain your ability to pay bills and other debts on time. But an initiative from Experian, a major credit bureau, is letting consumers apply their on-time bill payments for Netflix to boost their credit scores. Could your score jump up from on-time Netflix payments?
Experian wants to make your bills count for something
While keeping up with payments on things like credit cards can sometimes be difficult, smaller bills like Netflix are something that almost everyone can find space in their budget for. Unfortunately, timely Netflix payments don’t factor into your creditworthiness.
But all that is set to change starting July 27. Experian, one of the nation’s biggest credit bureaus, is adding new options to its Experian Boost program, which aims to help consumers improve their credit scores by reporting their timely bill payments on items that are typically ignored during credit assessment.
Experian Boost is straightforward to set up and use. The service is free of charge, and users create their accounts through Experian’s dedicated website. There, a portal is available for users to connect their bank accounts and choose which recurring payments they want to be assessed as part of their credit score.
After that, the process works all by itself. Experian will start keeping tabs on these on-time payments, and users can see an increase in their scores instantly. You can link positive payment data going as far back as 24 months, or two years total.
On average, two years of on-time Netflix bills results in a boost of a few points, but add a few more utilities and accounts and the number can go even higher.
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This sounds great, but what’s the catch?
A quick and easy boost to your score based on things you’ve already done sounds almost too good to be true. But, as with anything free and easy in life, there are drawbacks to consider before taking the plunge.
For starters, you’re giving your bank account data and sensitive financial information to an online portal owned by a credit bureau. This might sound fine on its face but think back just a few short years ago to the Equifax hack.
It happened because Equifax was careless with its cybersecurity. While we can’t assume that Experian will take the same approach, there’s still a risk that this bureau can be targeted and exploited in the future. History, after all, tends to repeat itself. Tap or click here to see how the Equifax hack happened.
All-in-all, choosing the service depends on whether or not you think the trade-off is worth it. That said, if you’re in a bind and need to spike your credit score quickly, this method is much easier and far less risky than signing up for a new, high-limit credit card.