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Does Experian Boost Improve Your Credit Score?

You can build up your credit score without using a credit card. We’ll explain.

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Whether you’re new to credit, have a less-than-stellar credit score, or just want to nudge your rating a bit higher, Experian Boost could be a valuable tool. 

The free service from the major credit bureau Experian allows you to connect your bank account to its system to add your payment history for rent, utilities, streaming services and other bills to your credit report. It’s easy to sign up, and it only reports your positive payment history.

We’ll explain what Experian Boost is, how it works to boost your credit score, and how to set it up. For more information about boosting your credit score, here are some tips to quickly improve your credit score.

Read more: Best Credit Cards for Fair and Average Credit

What is Experian Boost?

Experian Boost is a free service from Experian that can help you improve your credit score without having to take out another credit account.. It could instantly raise your Experian FICO score after signing up.

To start using Experian Boost, you need to connect the bank account you use to pay your bills to Experian (see below). For instance, you can connect your rent payments, as well as streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu and Disney Plus. Other bills that can help your credit score through Boost are phone and internet bills, cable and satellite, gas and electricity, rent with online payments, water and trash bills, and power and solar bills.

You can add up to two years of payment history instantly, but you’ll need to have at least three positive payments in the past six months for a bill to be added to your Experian credit report. After you’ve set up your account, the impact of your Boost payment history can be seen immediately in your new credit score.

If your credit score does see a bump from connecting to Experian Boost, this will only be reflected on your Experian credit report. Experian Boost does not have an impact on TransUnion or Equifax credit reports. 

How to set up Experian Boost

It’s easy to start using Experian Boost. We’ll walk you through it.

1. Visit the main Experian Boost page at

2. Select Start your boost.

3. Enter the last four digits of your Social Security number and your cell phone number. Your Social Security number is needed to verify your identity and retrieve your credit. Click Get started.

4. You should receive a text message on your phone to verify with Experian. Tap the link and return to the registration page.

5. Next, review your information to make sure everything is correct, and then create your account.

6. You’ll need to verify your identity one more time and then click Continue. You’ll be prompted to answer a few questions about yourself to confirm it’s you -- for instance, you may be asked who services your car loan. You’ll then need to provide security information.

7. Finally, you can add your banking details, and Experian Boost will start scanning your account for bills. If it finds eligible bill payments, tap Add to Boost.Then Boost will show you how many points your score went up. Keep checking back to see if your score has improved after paying your bills.

How much could Experian Boost help my credit score?

According to Experian, most people who sign up with Experian Boost see their credit scores rise immediately. In fact, the company claims that the average consumer will see their credit score go up by 13 points right away.

Experian Boost was launched in 2019, and in 2021 the company announced that more than 3.9 million consumers who used Boost raised their Experian FICO scores by a collective 50 million points -- which is an average of just under 13 points per person. The bureau also noted that about 60% of Boost users saw their scores increase.

Since Experian Boost only accepts positive payment history, its impact on your credit score should either be positive or neutral. However, Experian notes that, due to the “complex algorithm used to calculate credit scores,” some users may possibly see their credit scores decrease after signing up for Boost. In that case, the company says that you can unlink your bank accounts and your credit score should revert to its previous level.

For more, here’s what a credit score really is and why it matters. Also, this is the secret ratio that could be hurting your credit score.

Editors’ note: An earlier version of this article was assisted by an AI engine. This version has been substantially updated by a staff writer.

The editorial content on this page is based solely on objective, independent assessments by our writers and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It has not been provided or commissioned by any third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners.

Katie is a writer covering all things how-to at CNET, with a focus on Social Security and notable events. When she's not writing, she enjoys playing in golf scrambles, practicing yoga and spending time on the lake.
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