Many of us obsess over our credit scores. After all, those numbers are important when you buy a home, purchase a car, or apply for any kind of loan.
But some people don’t have a credit score because they have no credit history. They’ve never applied for a credit card and have no other types of debt. For these consumers, Experian – one of three credit agencies – will reportedly let them write their own credit report.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Experian’s new program is called “Go,” and it's similar to another program called Experian Boost. Boost links additional payment and banking information to help consumers raise their credit scores.
For example, if a person pays their electric bill and video streaming charges on time each month, that information – not currently part of a traditional credit report – is added to their history, thus raising their credit score.
Experian told the Journal that, on average, consumers who add non-debt accounts to their newly created credit reports go from having no FICO score to one of about 665.
The program is designed to make “unbanked” consumers more visible to financial institutions and give them an improved chance of being approved for a loan. At the same time, Experian benefits by having more data on more consumers.
Good results with Boost
Jairo, of Cleveland, Ohio, signed up for Boost and is glad he did.
“I personally increased my score by 40 points in my first 3 months," Jairo wrote in a ConsumerAffairs review. "You can optionally link your bank account for better results. By doing that I have increased my score by 19 points.”
Having a credit report can be a two-way street. It’s good if you have a good credit track record, but it's not so good if you aren’t careful with your money. Sholanda, of Browns Mill, N.J., tells us she worked with Experian to raise her 515 credit score.
“I had quite a few negative items,” Sholanda wrote in a ConsumerAffairs review. “After paying off some things and disputing items my score went up significantly.”
Craig Boundy, head of Experian North America, told the Journal that having credit information on more consumers makes the company more successful, not only in selling Experian services but also by offering credit cards that have the best chance for approval.