Yes, I improved my FICO Score
I made a big mistake and my credit score took a digger. I just improved my credit score by 5 points, and what I did could work for you.
Note: This sponsored article we wrote for Experian®. This means we received payment for writing this article at no cost to you if you buy items through these links. We only recommend products that we use or have thoroughly vetted and would recommend to our moms.
I missed a credit card payment
We did some travel last summer, and we were away from home for over six weeks. While enjoying new cities and fresh beaches, we forgot about some of our responsibilities back home. That’s what travel’s for, right? I mean, who thinks about their mail while staring out at the Mediterranean?
Well, I didn’t, and I’m paying the price.
I forgot to make a credit card payment. I know! A Debt Free Guy not only forgot to make a credit card payment but then carries a credit card balance past due. Don’t fret – we’re caught up now.
What’s been suffering since is my credit score. I’ve always had good credit, even above 800 at times. Since we both started to work full-time for Debt Free Guys, sold our condo, rented an apartment and have been bouncing around for two years, our credit scores have fluctuated.
But this missed payment dropped my credit score from 807 to 718. Ouch!
My FICO® rating’s still “good,” so that’s cool. We don’t know exactly what our future holds. So, I want to get my credit score back into “excellent” territory as soon as possible because a good to excellent credit score could save me tens of thousands of dollars over my lifetime.
(I don’t know about you, but I’d rather spend tens of thousands of dollars on travel or in retirement rather than send it to a bank for interest or fees.)
So, what am I going to do? One of the first steps I’m taking is using Experian Boost™.
How Experian Boost improved my FICO® score
I wanted help – fast! So, I turned to our good friends at Experian. Many of you know we’ve worked with Experian several times, including with their LGBTQ Money Survey last year.
You see, Experian recently launched Experian Boost™. Boost improved my FICO® score, and it may help you.
What’s Boost? Boost is Experian’s new feature, which lets you connect your utility and phone bills to their credit file, which probably isn’t happening now. As you may know, up to 35% of a credit score is based on payment history. So, if you’re good with paying these bills on time and in full, Experian Boost could be a serious boost to your credit scores. Until Boost came along, it wasn’t possible to include your payment history for things like your water, electric and phone bills.
Experian Boost is super-fast, too. Once you connect Boost to the account or accounts you pay your bills from and then verify the bills you want to have connected to your credit file, you’ll get your results almost immediately. Best of all, your FICO® Score will update immediately and I mean you’ll instantly see the results.
What you should know about Experian Boost
Yes, results vary, but many people see their FICO® Score go up. And, that’s what I wanted! In fact, per Experian, “5% to 15% of consumers move into a better FICO® category depending on which credit tier they started in.”
It’s important to note that you can’t hurt your credit scores with Experian’s Boost because if you don’t like your results, you can disconnect your account from Boost at any time.
Oh, and if you’re trying to build your credit scores – because you’re just starting out with this whole adulting thing – Boost is a great way to start.
Experian Boost is free with enrollment, so you have nothing to lose by trying. Plus, simply by signing up, you’ll get a free credit report and FICO® Score with enrollment.
What should you do?
Here are the 10 simple steps:
- Start a membership with Experian
- You’ll need to provide some information so Experian® can verify you are who you say you are
- You’ll next see your Experian credit report and current FICO® score and be given the option to try Boost
- If you agree, you’ll see a prompt to connect your new Experian account with your bank account
- If you agree, you’ll see a prompt to select the bank account you use to pay your bills
- Once you select your bank, you’ll enter your bank login and password
- Once Experian accesses your bank account, you may be asked to select which account to use, if not you’ll see the option “Scan for Boost”
- The scanning process takes a few minutes and then you’ll see a pop-up with your current FICO® Score
- Once scanning’s done, you’ll see the options to add your utilities and/or phone payments to your Experian credit file
- If you agree, then the selected accounts will be added to your Experian credit file, and finally…
- You’ll see your Boosted FICO® score