If you don't have a long borrowing history, which is likely the case if you've never taken out a loan or opened your own credit card, this could help you. Your credit score is a measure of how trustworthy you are in the eyes of financial institutions. Showing that you're consistent about paying your utility bills gives lenders more reason to think you're a safe bet.
With established credit, you're more likely to be qualified for some jobs and financial services. You may be able to pay smaller security deposits for apartments and lower insurance rates. And you could have more access to the best credit cards and competitive loan rates.
FICO determines credit scores by looking at your credit report for loan payment history, how much you owe, the length of your credit history, the types of credit you have and how often you apply for new credit. Commonly used FICO scores range from 300 to 850. A score of 700 or above is considered good and, once you're above around 750, you're in the excellent range.
This shift is "a good thing for people with thin or subprime credit. It's particularly advantageous for young adults who may be interested in applying for credit but don't have much of a credit history," says CreditCards.com industry analyst Ted Rossman.
According to Experian, 46 million U.S. consumers have "thin" credit files, meaning less than five loans or other accounts. By using Experian Boost, those consumers could see their scores increase immediately after they link their bank accounts. And around 1.5 million consumers with no scores could receive a score.
The program will not track missed payments and, if consumers stop paying bills for three consecutive months, Experian will delete the account, which may revert your score back to what it was before you added the information.