Home Loans & Credit New Ways to Improve Your Credit Score Coming Soon – ConsumerReports.org

New Ways to Improve Your Credit Score Coming Soon – ConsumerReports.org

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You will be able to opt-in to one or both of these services. But given the differences in what they rate, check first to see whether your savings or payment history will help your credit score.

Experian Boost
When you sign up for Boost, you give Experian read-only permission to see your bank account data— the credit bureau will then zero in on your utility, internet/cable, and telecom payments.

You can determine how many qualifying utility, internet/cable, or telecom payments you wish to add to your Experian credit file, and you can turn off the service at your discretion. 

Experian’s research shows that nearly 70 percent of consumers who add this payment information will see an improvement, says Greg Wright, chief product officer at Experian Consumer Information Services. 

The real-world impact of a higher score is likely to be modest, especially if you’re already in good financial shape. Still, 5 percent to 15 percent of borrowers will move into a better score category, Experian predicts, which could be significant if you climb from subprime to prime. When Wright, who has an excellent credit rating, tested the service on himself by adding five bill payment histories, his score rose 11 points.

Experian Boost is expected to roll out nationally in the first half of this year, 2019, Wright says. Consumers can register for early access at this site.

UltraFICO
Though this service also looks at your bank account to create a score, UltraFICO’s focus is on how well you manage your money, such as maintaining a certain amount in savings and avoiding bounced checks. Those who do bounce checks could be at risk for lower scores.

The goal is to reach out to younger consumers or immigrants, who may not be traditional banking customers now, says David Shellenberger, vice president of product management scores at FICO. The company believes UltraFICO will score 10 to 15 million consumers, or about 20 percent to 30 percent of the 53 million consumers previously considered unscorable due to lack of credit history.

To get a positive rating from UltraFICO, you might need a savings cushion of about $400 and positive balances during the previous three-month period, although these aren’t hard and fast cutoffs, Shellenberger says. The company says about 70 percent of consumers who maintain these financial goals will benefit from higher credit scores.

Consumers who want to receive an alert when UltraFICO rolls out later this year can sign up here.

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