Boost Your Credit Score or Boost Your Spam?

Experian, one of the big 3 credit bureaus, has been actively promoting that consumers can “boost” their credit score using their services. Since I help people with their credit and mortgage needs for my profession, this naturally got my attention.

I chuckled when I visited Experian’s website. It seems obvious to me that they are really trying to target younger borrowers.

Yes, only Experian can raise your FICO score…BUT this is because only Experian has what is referred to as the “FICO” score. The other two big credit bureaus, Transunion and Equifax, have other nick-names for their credit reports. They are all essentially the same. It’s really just a brand name.

If you’re doing this for the purpose of increasing your score for a mortgage loan, please be sure to double check the asterisk * which states that lenders may use a different FICO score. Currently, lenders (mortgage, car, etc.) do receive different credit scores than what a consumer may obtain online. Hopefully one day this will change…however as I write this post, this is not the case. We’re still pulling from the same big three credit bureaus, however, their scoring modules for various types of lenders are different than what the consumer can obtain. So bottom line, adding your utilities to the credit report and “boosting” your score may not help with the score your lender obtains.

Why is Experian offering this? They want your information so they can sell it over and over again. If you are considering doing a credit boost, PLEASE check out their privacy policy! It’s amazing what they will collect about you.

In fact, if you do anything, I encourage you to check out the Privacy Policy. Perhaps share it with your teens or young adult children so they can learn more about how their information is used when they sign up for a service like this.

As a mortgage lender, when we pull a credit report that has been credit boosted, it shows that utilities have been added. I don’t believe this will really make the difference for someone being able to qualify for a mortgage.

If you do want to improve your credit score for the purpose of obtaining a mortgage, I recommend contacting a local licensed loan office. Most would be happy to work with you. I personally really enjoy helping someone improve their credit so they’re in a better position to buy a home. It may not be as fast as a “boost” but it should be more effective.

By the way, the credit bureaus have been selling your information as “leads” for years. I find it disgusting and I’ve covered trigger leads before on this blog. NAMB (National Association of Mortgage Brokers) has been trying to convince Congress to stop this practice for years. As soon as you have your credit report ran, your information is sold to other lenders.

Bottom line, if you’re considering buying or refinancing a home located anywhere in Washington state, I’m happy to help you! I’ll even work with you to improve your credit score. 🙂

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