What Is Experian Boost and How Does It Work?

Quick Answer

Experian Boost is a free feature that can improve your FICO Score by adding household bill payments to your Experian credit report. Eligible accounts may include utility bills, cable, internet, streaming subscriptions, insurance and online rent payments. Users whose scores improve see an average FICO Score increase of 13 points.

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Experian Boost®ø is a free feature that can help you improve your FICO® Score instantly by factoring recurring eligible household payments into your Experian credit report. Learn how Experian Boost works, what bill payments are eligible and how to sign up.

What Is Experian Boost?

Experian Boost lets you include your history of certain on-time household bill payments in your Experian credit file to help build credit. Eligible accounts include:

  • Phone bills (mobile and landline)
  • Utility bills (gas, water, electricity, solar)
  • Insurance (excluding health insurance)
  • Residential rent (if paid online)
  • Internet, cable and satellite providers
  • Video streaming subscriptions
  • Trash collection services

These payments can be reliable indicators of responsible financial management and creditworthiness, but, because they are not considered debt payments, they are not traditionally reported to the consumer credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax). Adding these payments to your Experian credit report allows them to contribute to FICO® Scores based on Experian credit data.

How Does Experian Boost Work?

To use Experian Boost, you choose which bills to share, and you can change that at any time. Up to two years of payment history for each bill is added to your Experian credit report. If a lender or other legally authorized party (such as an auto insurance company) requests a FICO® Score based on your Experian credit report, it will reflect Experian Boost data.

Experian Boost only considers on-time payments. Late payments are ignored, and therefore cannot hurt your FICO® Score.

Is Experian Boost Free?

Yes, Experian Boost is free, and so is the basic Experian account required for Experian Boost access. A Premium CreditWorks,SM account is available for a fee, with expanded benefits including access to credit reports and FICO® Scores based on data from all three national credit bureaus, but it is not required for Experian Boost.

Is the FICO® Score Increase Immediate?

Yes, if you receive a score increase when you add payments with Experian Boost, the increase will happen instantly. Any lender that uses the FICO® Score 8 with Experian data will see that change reflected in score results. Users of Experian Boost whose scores improve see an average FICO® Score increase of 13 points.

Who Should Use Experian Boost?

Anyone can benefit from Experian Boost, but it's typically most helpful to users with limited credit experience—sometimes referred to as "thin-file borrowers"—and those with fair or poor FICO® Scores.

How to Sign Up for Experian Boost

Signing up for Experian Boost is easy and typically takes just a few minutes.

  1. To sign up for Experian Boost, you'll first need a free Experian account. Along with access to Experian Boost, the free subscription provides access to your Experian credit report, FICO® Scores based on it and other services that can help you maintain good credit health.
  2. On your account homepage, scroll down to the "Explore other actions" box and click the button marked "Add bills to Experian Boost."
  3. On the Experian Boost landing page, enter information on the checking or credit card account(s) you use to pay the bills you want added to your credit report. Use the encrypted form to enter the usernames and passwords you use to log in to those accounts' online dashboards.
  4. Experian Boost will identify eligible accounts it recognizes from the accounts' automatic payments and retrieve up to two years' worth of payment history for each.
  5. Experian Boost will prompt you to confirm that you want information for each identified account added to your Experian Boost list. As each approved account is added, Experian Boost will indicate the number of points your credit score has changed as a result.

How Can a Good Credit Score Help You?

There are many benefits to having a good credit score, but some of the most important ways a good credit score can help you include:

  • Improved likelihood of approval on loan and credit card applications
  • Access to a wider array of offers for loans and credit cards, including options with higher borrowing limits, better perks or rewards and lower interest rates and fees
  • Greater rental options among landlords and property managers that use credit scores in their tenant-screening processes
  • Lower car insurance costs in states where car insurance providers use credit scores to help set premiums
  • Lower security deposit requirements on home rentals and leased equipment such as wireless routers, cable boxes and satellite dishes

Is Experian Boost Safe?

Yes, Experian Boost is safe. Protecting customer data is Experian's top priority. Experian Boost uses multiple layers of security technology, including bank-level SSL security encryption, to safeguard your personal information when you connect your accounts and add your bills.

The Bottom Line

Experian Boost is a free feature that lets you get credit for responsible household bill payments by adding them to your Experian credit report for use in calculating credit scores. Signing up for Experian Boost is quick and easy and may yield an increase in your FICO® Score 8 based on Experian credit data.