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"We know consumers are watching more television, and we also know that many consumers are also cutting cable and moving to streaming services, so it's the right time for us to look at including a service like this," Jeff Softley, D2C president at Experian Consumer Services, tells CNBC Select.
Experian Boost is a free feature that helps you improve your credit score by paying monthly bills on time. Prior to the Netflix® addition, you could only add utility and phone bills, including internet, cable, gas, electric and water bills. Plans to expand to additional streaming providers are also in the works.
In just over a year, more than 4 million consumers have already connected their accounts to Experian Boost, resulting in over 29 million points boosted to date, Softley says.
On average, users see an increase in their FICO® Score 8, based on Experian data, of at least 10 points. Results may vary and you may not see an improvement in your score. Also, this service doesn't affect your credit score with the other two credit bureaus — Equifax and TransUnion.
New Experian Boost consumers can already start to link Netflix® payments, while the option will roll out to existing users over the next few weeks.
Below, CNBC Select reviews how Experian Boost works and other new financial management tools from Experian.
Getting credit for eligible bills with Experian Boost is easy and free. Simply follow these three steps:
- Connect the bank account(s) you use to pay your bills.
- Choose and verify the positive payment data you want added to your Experian credit file.
- Receive an updated FICO score.
You can link positive payment data as far back as 24 months. Late payments aren't reported through this service, however you should pay any outstanding bills as soon as possible since your creditor can send negative information to the credit bureaus.
Other features of Experian Boost include access to your Experian credit report and FICO score, both updating every 30 days. You'll also receive Experian Credit Monitoring and alerts for changes on your credit report, such as new account openings in your name and balance updates.
Experian is now offering a new financial management hub inside the CreditWorks Basic and Premium products (the basic plan is free and the premium costs $4.99 the first month, then $24.99 each month after). This hub can help you manage your spending and offers financial tips to keep you on track.
Some key features include:
- Account balance monitoring and alerts
- Recommendations on how to lower bills and manage debt, such as using a balance transfer card
- Categorization of spending
- Trending data for net worth, income and cash flow
Targeted savings opportunities and personalized savings estimates based on your credit file are expected to be added in the near future.