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Here's how Experian Boost can help raise your credit score for free

Experian Boost is free and lets you get credit for on-time utility, telecom and Netflix bills. Here's how to sign up and potentially boost your credit score.

Experian

If you’re trying to raise your credit score, paying your credit card bills on time and lowering your balances are two positive actions you can take. But if you need to bump your score up faster, you may also want to consider Experian Boost.

Experian Boost is a completely free service that allows you to connect your utility and telecom accounts to your Experian credit report, which can potentially raise your credit score.

By linking your bills like monthly water and cell phone service, you can get credit for positive, on-time payments. Experian also recently updated eligible bills to include on-time Netflix payments, providing you with more ways to improve your credit.

Keep in mind that Experian Boost requires that users have at least one active credit account, such as a credit card or personal loan, to sign up. If you want to improve your credit from fair to good, this service can provide a helpful path.

Here are the eligible types of utility, telecom and streaming subscription bills you can link:

  • Mobile and landline phones
  • Internet
  • Cable and satellite
  • Gas and electric
  • Water
  • Power and solar
  • Trash
  • Netflix

Once you sign up and connect your bills, you’ll instantly receive your new credit score, which may reflect an increase. On average, users see a 13-point increase in their FICO® Score 8, which is based on Experian data. 

Of course, results may vary based on your individual report, and it is possible that you may not see a change to your credit score at all.

Since this service is provided by Experian, it only influences your Experian credit report and credit score. Signing up for Experian Boost won’t make a difference in your credit scores with Equifax or TransUnion. When you apply for credit, lenders may review your credit from any one of the credit bureaus. An increase in your Experian credit score may not improve your qualification odds for a loan or credit card if the lender uses Equifax or TransUnion.

How to sign up for Experian Boost

  1. Connect the bank account(s) you use to pay your bills.
  2. Choose and verify the positive payment data you want added to your Experian credit file.
  3. Receive an updated FICO score.

Experian Boost may pull positive payment data as far back as 24 months. Any late payments on linked accounts won’t be reported through this service. (However, you should still pay outstanding bills quickly to avoid late fees.) 

Beyond the ability to boost your credit score, Experian Boost provides updates to your Experian credit report and FICO score every 30 days. You’ll also receive free credit monitoring alerts for changes to your Experian credit report, such as new account openings and balance updates.

For a more comprehensive credit monitoring plan that tracks changes to all three of your credit reports, consider Experian IdentityWorks℠ Premium, which costs $19.99 per month for one adult. There are also a variety of family plans available for up to two adults and up to 10 children, which is the reason Experian IdentityWorks ranks as CNBC Select’s best credit monitoring service for families.

Experian IdentityWorks℠

Experian IdentityWorks℠
Information about Experian IdentityWorks℠ has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the company prior to publication.
  • Cost

    $9.99 to $29.99 per month

  • Credit bureaus monitored

    Experian for Plus plan or Experian, Equifax and TransUnion for Premium plan

  • Credit scoring model used

    FICO

  • Dark web scan

    Yes

  • Identity insurance

    Yes, up to $500,000 for Plus plan and up to $1 million for Premium plan

Terms apply.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the CNBC Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.