In this guide

  • Our verdict
  • Your reviews
  • Ask a question
Finder makes money from featured partners, but editorial opinions are our own. Advertiser disclosure

Our verdict

Build credit with rent, streaming services and more — for free.

Experian Boost® is a free service offered by the major credit bureau Experian®. To use it, you'll first need to sign up for a free Experian membership. It works by adding recurring bills that aren't automatically reported, such as eligible rent, streaming services and phone bills, to your Experian credit history. Reporting these bills with timely payments helps improve your credit score generated by your Experian credit report. The only downside is that this will only affect your Experian credit file, since it doesn't report to the other credit bureaus.

Best for: Those looking to improve their Experian credit history.

Pros

  • Free to use
  • Reports eligible rent, utilities and streaming services
  • Optional Experian checking account
  • Helpful credit-building resources

Cons

  • Payment history only added to Experian's report
  • Not all bills are eligible

In this guide

  • Our verdict
  • Your reviews
  • Ask a question

Who is Experian Boost best for?

Experian Boost is great for anyone looking for a free way to improve their FICO® credit score generated by their Experian credit report. Experian Boost can let you build payment history for bills you already pay, and there’s no charge whatsoever.

What we like about Experian Boost

For starters, Experian Boost is a completely free service. While most other rent-reporting services charge a monthly fee, you don’t have to pay a monthly membership fee to use Experian Boost or sign up for an Experian account.

Adding recurring bill payments to your credit file can make a huge impact on your Experian-generated credit score: Payment history makes up 35% of your FICO® Score 8. Up to two years of payment history for each bill can be added, and Experian Boost only considers on-time payments; late payments are ignored. Boost users see an average FICO score increase of 13 points, as reported by Experian.

Get payment history for bills you already pay

Experian Boost lets you start building your Experian credit history for bills you already pay. You can start reporting your payment history for recurring bills such as:

  • Eligible online rent payments
  • Utilities, such as gas, electric, water and more
  • Telecom, such as phone bills, internet, cable and more
  • Streaming services, such as Netflix, Disney+, Hulu and more
  • Insurance, such as home, auto or life

Once you set up your Experian account and Boost, Experian scans your bank accounts for eligible bills. You can also manually add bills, or remove them whenever you’d like.

Experian offers other products and services

As a major credit bureau, signing up for an Experian membership to access Boost also offers additional perks. Even if you don’t end up getting Experian Boost, having an Experian account can let you monitor your credit report so you can catch things like identity theft, spot mistakes and learn more about your FICO® credit score.

Also, Experian offers the Experian Smart Money Digital Checking Account. This account is automatically linked to the Boost service and has no monthly fees or opening deposit requirements.

Where it falls short

The biggest downside to Experian Boost is that it only reports to Experian. Payments reported will only be added to your Experian credit report and not the other major credit bureaus like TransUnion or Equifax. If someone checks your credit score using your TransUnion credit report, the payment history generated through Experian Boost won’t impact your credit score.

Also, to report a bill with Boost, the bill needs to be recurring. Experian Boost requires at least three consecutive payments to be eligible, and it must be a bill that’s paid electronically and on a monthly basis. For example, if you pay rent via cash or cashier’s check, it won’t be eligible, and neither will any utilities you pay on a quarterly basis.

Compare Experian Boost to other credit-building services

Narrow down top down credit-building options by features, fees and more. For a better comparison, tick the Compare box on multiple providers to see benefits side by side.

Name Product Fee Minimum deposit to open Requirements Credit Bureaus Offer
Experian Boost®
Not rated yet
Experian Boost®
$0 per month
$0
Requires Free Experian® membership and Experian Boost to build credit.
Experian
Experian Boost is a service offered by Experian®, get credit for bills like your cell phone, utilities, rent and insurance for free.
StellarFi
Finder Score: 4 / 5: ★★★★★
StellarFi
From $4.99 per month
$0
Must be at least 18 years old, have a bank account, be a US resident and have a valid Social Security number
Equifax, Experian
StellarFi is a credit reporting app that could help you build your credit score using the bills you're already paying.
Cushion
Finder Score: 4 / 5: ★★★★★
Cushion
From $4.99 per month
$0
Must be at least 18 years old, have an existing US bank account and a Social Security number
Experian
Cushion is an all-in-one banking app can organize your finances and build credit history
Chime® Credit Builder Secured Visa® Credit Card
Finder Score: 5 / 5: ★★★★★
Chime® Credit Builder Secured Visa® Credit Card
$0 per month
$0
Must have a Chime Checking Account with eligible direct deposits to qualify.
Equifax, Experian,TransUnion
A secured credit card that helps build credit and is designed to work with Chime’s Checking account.
Extra
Finder Score: 4.3 / 5: ★★★★★
Extra
From $20 per month
$0
Requires an existing bank account.
Equifax, Experian
The Extra Debit Card can help build your credit and even offer rewards on every purchase.
loading

How to open Experian Boost

You must get a free Experian account before enrolling in Experian Boost. Follow these steps to start using Experian Boost:

  1. Go to Experian.com, and select Sign up for free or Sign in to start your free Experian membership profile.
  2. Enter your information, such as the last four digits of your Social Security number (SSN) and phone number. Experian needs your SSN to verify your identity and pull your Experian credit report.
  3. Sign up for Experian Boost for free.
  4. Connect the external bank accounts you use to pay the bills you want to report. If you have the Experian Smart Money Digital Checking Account, Boost connects automatically.
  5. Experian scans your accounts and locates bills with on-time payments, and you can select which ones to add to your Experian credit report.

Customer experience

Despite Experian being a credit bureau first and foremost, the majority of Trustpilot customer reviews for Experian are in direct reference to Boost — which has overwhelmingly positive feedback.

There are over 65,000 reviews on Trustpilot, resulting in a decent 3.9 star rating. Nearly all the reviews about Boost are raving stories of customers saying their credit scores increased dramatically and nearly instantly. A few customers offer so-so ratings and express disappointment that not all of their recurring bills could be reported, but that’s to be expected with Boost’s somewhat strict eligibility requirements.

Other Experian reviews have to do with credit issues in general, such as being locked out of their Experian account or difficulties removing errors from their Experian credit report. Other negative reviews are from people asking Experian why their FICO® or VantageScore dropped. But Experian doesn’t generate your actual credit score.

On the Better Business Bureau, Experian has over 14,000 complaints, which is quite a lot. However, most of those complaints have to do with unique circumstances around accounts reported to their Experian credit report, such as incorrectly reported late payments, disputing incorrect accounts and troubles with removing accounts associated with identity theft.

Frequently asked questions

What is included in Experian boost?

Experian Boost is a free service that reports a number of recurring bill payments to your Experian credit file, which can include monthly bills paid electronically, such as streaming services, utilities, rent payments and insurance.

Does Experian Boost impact my other credit reports?

Unfortunately, no. You’ll only see changes in your Experian credit report. Experian Boost will not add payment history to other credit reports, such as TransUnion or Equifax.

Can I raise my credit score 100 points overnight?

Probably not, but there are many ways to improve your credit score fast. Most of the time, it will take at least a month to see changes in your credit score if you added a new account, removed an error or resolved issues. This is because most creditors report payments and accounts on a monthly basis.

If you were to open a new account, you might not see a large difference in your credit score for around 30 days. With responsible management and timely payment history, you’re more likely to see a substantial improvement in about six months.

Results will vary. Not all payments are boost-eligible. Some users may not receive an improved score or approval odds. Not all lenders use Experian credit files, and not all lenders use scores impacted by Experian Boost®. Learn more.

Your reviews

No reviews yet. Write a review

Ask a question

Ask a question
Avatar

Bethany Finder

Writer, Banking and Loans

Hi there, looking for more information? Ask us a question.

Error label

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked
Accept and continue

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our finder.com Terms of Use and Privacy and Cookies Policy.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Go to site